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The Incredible Story of Nek Chand’s Rock Garden

The Rock Garden of Chandigarh is a 40-acre park full of plazas, waterfalls and thousands of unique creatures made from recycled materials. It’s a truly impressive sight, but even more so is the story of how Nek Chand spent four decades creating it and how he kept it a secret, for years.

In 1958, Nek Chand was a road inspector for the Public Works Department, and was making rafts and boats to be sail upon the recently created Sukhna Lake, but peddle boats were soon made available for rent by authorities, and his craft was banned. This allowed Nek to devote more time to his passion for rocks and stones, and he began gathering them from the nearby Shivalik Hills, and the Sukhna Cho, Patiala Rao and Ghaggar rivers. It was around this time that the Swiss architect Le Corbusier was asked to design the city of Chandigarh, the first planned city of India, and the small villages around the area were demolished. This provided Nek Chand with plenty of material for his increasing collection of rocks.

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At 94, Indian Ramjit Raghav Is World’s Oldest Father

94-year-old Ramajit Raghav proudly claims the title of world’s oldest father, after his 54-year-old wife Shakuntala Devi gave birth to their first baby.

Both Ramajit and Shakuntala are equally happy and excited, considering baby Vikaramjeet as “God’s gift” and planning a second child for next year, although their ages are  past the normal fertility period.

Former wrestler, Ramajit strongly believes that he’s health will keep him around for many years, to see his soon grow up: “I will die only if a black snake bites me and that is very unlikely. Visit me after ten years and you will find me in the same appearance. My daily diet comprises three litres of milk, half a kilo of almonds and half a kilo of ghee [clarified butter].”

Mr. Raghav actually claims he is over 100 years old, but pension records state he is “only” 94. Still, doctors say that, although it can’t be ruled out, having a baby at this age is a very remote possibility. 

The former record holder was also an Indian man, Nanu Ram Jogi, who became a father for his 21st soon at the age of 90 in 2007.

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6-Year-Old Girl Is World’s Youngest Yoga Instructor

Yoga has been around for thousands of years, and the benefits it has for the mind and body are unquestionable, so its ever-growing popularity is not surprising . But what is very surprising is  6-year-old Shruti Pandey, who has been a successful Yoga teacher for two years now.

Interestingly enough, she is not the only “miracle” in her family, as her older brother, Harsh Kumar, mastered all 84 yoga positions by the age of five, making it into the Limca Book of Records and becoming a source of inspiration and motivation for Shruti. But he has never been interested in becoming a teacher.

67 year-old Hari Chetan, Shruti’s instructor, who set up the Swami Brahmachand Saraswati Kaivalya Dham Ashram 35 years ago, is simply amazed not only with her flexibility, which many may find normal for a child this age, but also with her talent and determination. She proved to be e vary quick learner and as she mastered this art for herself, it didn’t come as a surprise when she started teaching others, in classes of around 30 adults that start at 5:30am. Everyone is amazed with her talent and the patience she puts in for everything and every one.

“The best thing about Shruti is she tries to provide an alternative position for the complicated ones that are difficult for an older person like me to do. She’s very patient,” says 90-year-old retired teacher Swami Bhanu.

After only three months of attending Shruti’s classes, 48-year-old businessman Lokendra Pal Singh says: “I have noticed a positive change in my life. I used to be short-tempered, but now I’m able to control my anger to quite an extent and it’s all thanks to a little six-year old.”

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India Displays Most Impressive Cake Ever, in Bangalore

I’ve always been a big fan of cool cakes, but the one Indian chefs have just created, in Bangalore city, really takes the cake.

Showcased during the 36th Annual Cake Exhibition, the sweet replica of Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is definitely this year’s star of the show. It’s made out of approximately five tons of sugar, and at 22 feet long and 14 feet wide, it’s about to enter the record books as the biggest cake ever made in India. A team of chefs and food artists have been working around the clock to get this perfect replica of the iconic Mumbai hotel ready in time for Christmas, as a tribute to the landmark attacked by terrorists, in 2008.

The impressive-looking cake can be admired between December 17 – 27, during the cake show, in Bangalore.

 

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Twinkle Dwivedi – The Girl Who Cries Blood

For the last three years, doctors have been trying to figure out what makes Twinkle Dwivedi‘s body ooze blood through her eyes, feet and even her head, but she remains a medical mystery.

When Twinkle’s case first appeared in the international media, many hurried to call her a fake, but after countless tests and procedures, including blood transfusions, doctors are still baffled by her strange bleeding. A group of medical specialists, led by dr. George Buchanan, recently traveled to North India to investigate the 14-year-old Twinkle, but all they have been able to say was that “she really suffers from a condition we have never seen before.”

The young teen remembers her disorder first appeared when she was just 11, and her classmates started mocking her and calling her disgusting. Although her bleeding didn’t hurt at all, she felt scared and alone, because no one would come near her. At first she would cry when she saw her clothes soaked with blood, but now she just keeps quiet, and prays she will eventually get better.

Despite her parents efforts, who took her to see the best doctors, Twinkle Dwivedi still bleeds from her eyes and pores, up to 14 times a day. Read More »

Indian Toddler Plays with Deadly Snakes instead of Toys

It’s not everyday that you get to see a six-months-old girl playing with full frown pythons, but for Sidhi Siddharth Sinune this kind of snakes are everyday toys.

Because he can’t afford to buy his young daughter any toys, Sidhi’s farmer father, who tries to make ends meet as a snake catcher, admits he brings the dangerous reptiles home and lets her play with them. So while he and his wife are working in the fields, Sidhi spends her days in the lovely company of a creature that could kill her by constriction, or by swallowing her whole.

Sidhi’s father says she develops an unusual bond with the snakes, and that the reptiles love to play with her just as much as she loves playing with them. They let her squeeze them and even bithe on their tails with her gums .

While I completely understand how costly children’s toys can be, couldn’t this man carve or make something for his young daughter, instead of leaving her with a deadly python? Read More »

Woman Claims She Spent 78 Years without Drinking Water

Narasamma, a 92-year-old woman from Bangalore, India, says he hasn’t had a drink of water since she was 14-years old.

Narasamma is completely aware of how bizarre her claim may be for some people, and that is precisely why she never told anyone, but her closest family members, about her non-existent water drinking habits. The 92-year-old told Mid Day she just never feels the need to drink water, and that her body works well enough with the two cups of coffee she drinks every day.

But the old woman claims things weren’t always like this, on the contrary. When she was 14 years old, Narasamma developed a weird condition that caused her throat to get extremely dry, and she would drink up to 10 liters of water a day. That, in turn caused her body to swell up to the point where she had no more control over her limbs. Scared, her parents took her to Ayurvedic doctors, who suggested a 48-day-long steam therapy that would help her eliminate excess water through sweat. She got better, but after her ailment returned, she vowed never to drink water again.

Asked how she lives her life without water, Narasamma said she relies only on Ayurvedic medicine (because pills require her to drink water), and wears wet clothes, during the summer, to survive the heat and regulate her body’s water level. She only eats rice, dry fruits and nuts,  spends five hours a day praying, and fasts at least 10 days a month.

In the year 2000, Narasamma went on a 36-day tour of northern and southern India, with no food and water. She claims she sipped just 3 cups of coffee throughout her entire journey. Doctors say water is indispensable to the human body, but in rare cases our organism finds different ways of getting the water it needs. To prove her claim, the old woman would have to be thoroughly tested.

Narasamma’s claim may seem preposterous, but a few months ago,  Indian Yogi Prahlad Jani startled scientists when he proved he can survive without eating or drinking water.

 

The Weird Nose Plugs of the Apatani Women

Women of the Apatani Tribe, in India’s Apatani plateau, are famous for the bizarre nose plugs they’ve been wearing since times long passed.

The Apatani, or Tani, are a tribal group of about 60,000 members, often praised for their extremely efficient agriculture, performed without animals or machinery. They have no written record of their history, and traditions are passed down orally, from generation to generation.

One tradition that is quickly fading into the mist of time is the traditional Apatani nose plugs, worn by most of the elder women in the tribe. There was once a time when every woman had to wear these bizarre accessories, but since the middle of the 20th century, the custom began to die. According to the Apatani, the nose plug was born as a way of protecting the women of the tribe. Apparently, Apatani women have always been considered the most beautiful among the Arunachal tribes, their villages were constantly raided by neighboring tribes, and the women kidnapped.

To make themselves unattractive to the other tribes, Apatani women began wearing these hideous nose plugs and tattooing their faces with a horizontal line from the forehead to the tip of the nose, and five lines on their chins. Let’s face it, that turns off any raider in search of beautiful women to have his way with.

But the tradition of the Apatani nose plug hasn’t been practiced by any woman born after 1970, and as time passes, this custom will probably soon be forgotten. Well, at least we still have the Ethiopian lip plug.

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Indian Yogi Proves He Can Survive on Air Alone

Prahlad Jani, the amazing Yogi who claims he hasn’t eaten or drunk and fluids, for the last 70 years, was put to the test, by Indian specialists, and proved his claims were honest.

82-year-old Prahlad Jani, who says he has survived the last seven decades on heavenly nectar, poured through a hole in his palette, by a goddess, is now a confirmed unique phenomenon. Prahlad, who was first tested, by scientists, in 2003, has now returned to the same hospital, to undergo a new series of investigations.

Between April 28 and May 6, the incredible Yogi was supervized by 30 video cameras and a team of Indian scientists. During this time he didn’t eat a thing, and only used water to shower and clean his mouth. He also never passed any urine or other waste. Though studies showed urine in his blatter, at one point, it mysteriously disappeared.

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Jallikattu – India’s Answer to Spanish Bullfighting

In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, people don’t need red capes and sharp swords to tame bulls, they do it with their bare hands, in a sport called Jallikkattu.

The ancient sport of Jallikattu pits crowds of brave young men against angry bulls who will tear anyone apart, if they get in the way. The name of the sport comes from the words “salli”, which translates as “coin”, and “kadu”, which means tying the coin to the horns of the raging bull. The goal of Jallikattu players is to tame the bull long enough to claim the prize.

But that’s is a lot harder than it sounds, especially since the bulls used for Jallikattu are extremely aggressive, and the players aren’t allowed to defend themselves with anything else but their bare hands. The bravest of the young men will try to grab the hump of the bull, and hang on, while the beast will most often grab him with its long horns and plunge him into the ground.

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Osama Bin Laden Sneakers Are the Bomb, in India

If you’ve ever dreamed of having the world’s most wanted terrorist at your feet, now’s your chance of making that dream a reality, with the Osama Bin Laden sneakers.

These wacky shoes, featuring a caricature of the famous Osama Bin Laden, and a line that ( I think) says ” I look at you killed”. That doesn’t make much sense to me either, but you have to understand the sneakers are made in China, the country that brought us famous brands like Juma, Badidas, Mike, and other such abominations.

Chinese merchandise is very popular in India, due to its low prices, but these Air Bin Ladens have become a phenomenon, among the country’s youth. 21-year-old Praveen Kumar says “It gives me a feeling that the most hated person in the world lies at my feet.”

Osama Bin Laden sneakers are priced at just 650 rupees ($14.67), but you probably won’t find them in markets, outside Asia. Read More »

Indian Students Write World’s Longest Letter to God

A group of students from an Indian university celebrated their silver jubilee year, by setting a new world record for the longest letter.

The Brahmakumaris youth wing of Gujarat University found an original way to celebrate their silver jubilee year, the university’s diamond jubilee year and 600 years since the establishment of Ahmedabad city. They decided to organize an event where people could write their own letter to God.

In just 3 hours time, 2,800 people wrote down their feelings of gratitude for their happy lives and also asked the removal of poverty and protection from terrorism, corruption and other evils. The letter ended up being 2,841 feet long.

Participants were grateful for such an occasion to thank God for everything He helped them achieve in life, and organizers say this kind of event is perfect for people who want to learn how to write letters to God.

The previous record for the World’s Longest Letter was established by 2,000 of my Romanian countrymen who wrote a 1,358 feet-long letter for Santa Claus.

via WorldAmazingRecords

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Mallakhamb – Extreme Indian Pole Dancing

Modern pole-dancing may be attractive to look-at, but in terms of difficulty, it’s nothing to the old Indian sport of Mallakhamb.

Mallakhamb originated in Maharastra, India, during the 12th century, as a form of training for wrestlers. The word “Malla” means wrestler, while “khamb” translates as pole. This old art had almost been lost throughout the centuries, but it’s become increasingly popular, in recent years, mainly due to the efforts of coaches like Uday Deshpande.

The sport of Mallkhamb has athletes climb up a wooden pole, 55 cm in diameter,at the base, and 35, at the top, and perform various poses and feats. The pole is most often made of teak, because of its sturdiness, and before exercises begin, it’s rubbed with castor oil, to prevent friction.

Even though Mallakhamb is yet to be recognized as an official sport, in India, it has been embraced by visually-impaired boys. This art is about feeling and understanding the strength and balance of one’s body, and that’s why blind Mallakhamb athletes are just as good as those with perfect eyesight.

Mallakhamb

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Vijay Sharma – India’s Real Life Plastic Man

Actually, Vijay has earned the nickname “Rubber Man” in his native country of India, for performing incredible flexibility stunts.

Vijay is able to wrap his legs over his head, wind his arms around his back, crawl his body through a tennis racket and even drink from a coke bottle held between his toes. The 27-year-old shop assistant says his passion for extreme flexibility tricks comes from watching Jackie Chan movies when he was a kid.

Vijay Sharma discovered his unusual talents when he began taking martial arts lessons, so he could follow in the footsteps of his idol. He started crawling into tight spaces, curling up in boxes, and before he knew it, he was earning the title of  “Rubber Man” in the Limca Book of records. That’s India’s version of the Guinness Book of Records.

Te ambitious young man has made appearances on national TV shows and won the silver medal in a body flexibility tournament, and says he will stop at nothing to reach the international fame he deserves. Maybe he could learn a thing or two from Rubberboy

Photos by BARCROFT INDIA via Daily Mail

Vijay-Sharma

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Navratan Harsh – India’s Real-Life Lizardman

Meet Navratan Harsh, a 21-year-old from Bikaner, Rajasthan state, India, with a bizarre passion for animals, especially Geko lizards.

Navrathan has been fascinated by lizards, ever since he was a young boy and one fell in his lap, at school. Ever since then, he has spent most of his days feeding and playing with his scaly friends, and even letting them crawl on his face. Around his village, Navratan Harsh is known as Gecko King and Mowgli, because of his close connection with wildlife.

Unlike other boys his age, who spend most of their time partying and getting drunk, Navratan searches for lizards, plays and trains them, and them lets them go free. He says he feels no pain or fear when lizards bite his face…Creepy stuff!

Photos by CFP via 9xbienhoa

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