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Maharashtra's onion farmers staring at a bleak future

an hour ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
The onion farmers of Maharashtra appear to be at the receiving end of climate change. For the last two years, farmers from Ahmednagar and Nasik have been experiencing heavy rainfall. But this year, the monsoon season that continued till October, has brought along disease. Much of the onion crop has been destroyed after being infected with a fungal disease called Anthracnose, which tends to attack plants in the spring when the weather is cool and wet." Sandeep Kokate, a farmer from Yeola taluka, 35.3 km from Lasalgaon, Nasik, said, "I had nearly 500 quintals of onions in stock and suddenly, due to heavy rainfall and fungal infection [Anthracnose], nearly 70 per cent of my stock got destroyed. I had to sell stock for as cheap as R7 per kg at Lasalgaon. We are not even able to get a break even." According to Kokate, the condition has worsened over the last two years. "The extended monsoon season has been wreaking havoc." Half of farmer Baban Nanabhau Fand's onion farm in Sarola Advai vill..
                 

A bolt from the blue

an hour ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
I felt like a bomb had burst in my head," said Sara as she lay on a stretcher in the emergency room, keeping her eyes closed and requesting us to dim the lights. She didn't feel like talking. Her parents said she had been sitting on the couch after dinner, reading a book when it had happened. No high blood pressure, no diabetes, and no family history of stroke, they confirmed. She didn't drink or smoke. No real or even apparent stress. She was 35 years old and about to be married. May be that was stress enough, I postulated in jest to myself. She had a throbbing headache and felt confused, but was conscious and able to follow simple commands briskly. She could raise both her arms and flap her feet up and down at the ankle, which confirmed she had no striking neurological deficit. Her neck was stiff, however, and she couldn't touch her chin to the chest, one of the signs of an aneurysm rupture in the brain (you don't need to try doing this at home; you are fine). The CT angiogram confir..
                 

Donkey's curse and cross

an hour ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
In many parts of India, especially in Maharashtra and Goa, one finds stone tablets showing a strange image of a donkey having sex with a woman. Known as "gadhe-gal" or "donkey-curse", archaeologists believe these stones are 1,000-year-old land grants, carved in stone. They were probably carved by Shilahara kings and given to Brahmins, who migrated to the region then. They were placed at the boundaries of farms, to mark territory. These steles show the sun and moon, indicating that the agricultural land has been given away until for as long as the sun and moon exist, i.e. until eternity. The image of a donkey copulating with a woman is a warning, a curse, or threat, to those who violate the land grant. If someone encroaches the land, then a donkey shall be made to copulate with the violator's wife or the woman of his house. Some people have read this as a metaphor where the woman represents the earth and the donkey, the plough. The "donkey" plough, unlike the "ox" plough, will plunder t..
                 

Performing love

an hour ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Facebook issued me a stern warning: This is the last time you will be able to change your date of birth. OK, I thought. I'm very bad at lying, so I better make it something I can remember. Sigh. Just because I want to use Facebook, why should I share my date of birth? Kaiku, kaiku? Everyone I know has only one birthday in the whole year, poor chaps. Fortunately, my friends have thoda dodgy memories—just like mine—so my birthday celebrations go on for a week, at least. As and when somebody remembers and wishes me, it becomes my birthday—lucky me! The most precious birthday gift was Amma, Indu Shedde, a senior citizen, playing me "Happy birthday" on the flute. I recently gifted her a flute, and she has been zealously practising the tune for two weeks. I was so moved, I just crumbled like a Glucose biskut in hot chai. Then, we also sang a Hindustani classical song together, Binati suno mori (Hear my plea) in Raag Bageshri. Learning this song now took me back to my childh..
                 

Shukriya, meherbani, thenkoo

an hour ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
My friend A told me something startling, yet unsurprising, yesterday. An auto rickshaw driver advised her not to say "shukriya" when she thanked him: "These are not good times to be using such language", meaning Urdu, instead of Hindi. This story made me remember my father who used shukriya less, and meherbani more, to say thank you. Like many Hindu North Indian men of his generation, Sunil Dutt and Manmohan Singh famously among them, he was educated in Urdu, both pre- and post- Partition, and never learned what we call Hindi. Then, I remembered Parveen Babi from Shaan (1980) in a shimmering white silver lamé dress saying "shukriya, karam, meherbani" (thanks, gratitude, much obliged) to an excitable audience—including Bindoo in a parrot green glimmering gown, and three chorus girls in sequined black swimsuits playing the shakers—before she started to shimmy to "pyaar karne vale pyaar karte hain, shaan se" (lovers love in style) in Asha Bhosle's voice, one person insi..
                 

Coronavirus India Live Updates: Technology central to plan on distribution of Covid-19 vaccines

an hour ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

Chief of DMK ally criticises Manusmriti’s ‘portrayal of women’, booked

3 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

SMS, digital certificate, schools as booths in blueprint for Covid vaccine drive next yr

5 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

Iran curbs won’t hit Chabahar: US signals climbdown for India

5 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

TRP ‘scam’ case: Republic, News Nation, Mahamovie execs wanted, cops tell Mumbai court

7 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

Kerala considers withdrawing general consent to CBI probe

7 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

Nirmala Sitharaman on Hoshiarpur rape case: No tweet, no outrage now?

8 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

Army downs Chinese-made Pak drone dropping arms in Kashmir’s Keran sector

2 hours ago  
News / Times Of India/ India  
                 

Uttarakhand Covid data shows over 18% rise in recovery rate in a month

8 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

After Sena’s open offer to join, Pankaja Munde says she is not leaving BJP

9 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

Over 50% dip in Bihar first-time voters, under-30 down over 12%

5 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Front Page  
                 

Rift between BJP old-timers and new entrants resurfaces in Bengal

4 hours ago  
News / Times Of India/ India  
                 

In fray for Odisha bypoll, an 80-year-old-barber campaigning on a cycle

2 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

Monitoring India-China issue, don’t want situation to escalate: top US official

3 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

As more women run marathons, they are fast closing gender gap

5 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

Mehbooba’s flag remark: BJP wants action by EC, Cong skips ally meeting

5 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

A lensman and a half-jetty

2 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
Dreamgirl Hema Malini dominates the Instagram feed of fashion lensman Shashank Lawate. He follows female and male models on shoot destinations as varied as Burj Khalifa and Sydney Opera. But, as he pursues, what he terms "livelihood travel", one remote island— over 70 km from Mumbai, half-an-hour from Virar railway station—has unwittingly been stamped in his consciousness. A chance visit to a friend's farm in Virar during the lockdown introduced Lawate, 47, to the infrastructural impasse in Arnala. As he took the ferry to the island from one side of Arnala beach, he realised the daily inconvenience faced by a cross-section, which has to literally wade through sea water because of the lack of a passenger terminal. As he made friends with the Mangela Kolis in the island—their population is 4,503—he gathered stories of risky adventures, freak accidents and the dependence on a lone passenger boat. He decided to draw the attention of the civic administration, particu..
                 

Share exact words of apology: NBSA to Zee, Aaj Tak, others in Sushant death case

7 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

PM Modi: Kisan Suryoday Yojana will be a milestone for farmers in Gujarat

8 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

Seven held for cross-border smuggling of narcotics

2 hours ago  
News / Times Of India/ India  
                 

Satyendar Jain: ‘Even after testing negative, had breathing issues. Yoga helped’

8 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

Pakistan targets LoC, IB in ceasefire violation

2 hours ago  
News / Times Of India/ India  
                 

Mehbooba Mufti disrespecting Indian flag; Article 370 won't be restored: Prasad

4 hours ago  
News / Times Of India/ India  
                 

Central Trade Unions slam Centre’s move to shift base year for calculating dearness allowance, say will depress amount payable

7 hours ago  
News / Times Of India/ India  
                 

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J&K: 7 arrested for cross-border smuggling of arms, drugs

3 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

China govt uses ‘United Front’ to gather intel on citizens abroad, says US dy NSA

3 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

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Cash-back for all borrowers to ensure parity, good credit culture

5 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

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Gujarat HC grants bail to key accused in Una flogging

7 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

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Mumbai Diary: Sunday Dossier

2 hours ago  
News / Mid-Day/ News  
George of the Jungle This young man, who is using the branch of a tree on Marine Drive to help with his pull ups, will be happy to know that gyms across the city opened today. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar Major shift in focus for our man Patel Cricket photographer Bipin Patel's pharmacy in Kent, England Bipin Patel, our cricket-loving lensman in the United Kingdom, is putting the images he shot during last year's ICC World Cup to good use. Patel has chosen the one he captured of Ben Stokes in full cry during the final against NZ, to urge citizens to get their flu vaccination done at his Saxon Warrior Pharmacy in rural Kent. Patel tells us that he has administered 1,000-plus shots this year. The NHS initiative is five years old, so it's got nothing to do with COVID-19, but the current pandemic has made people more aware of the need to be protected from viruses. That probably explains why Patel will soon run out of vaccine stock. With pharmacists being allowed to inject patients—and for fre..
                 

Bihar elections: J P Nadda counters Oppn’s jobs pitch with employment to 19 lakh promise

7 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

RS polls: Ex-CM Bahuguna in list of 5 names for BJP’s Uttarakhand pick

8 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

ED summons to Capt’s son: Rawat questions timing

9 hours ago  
News / Indian Express/ Latest News India  
                 

President Kovind greets citizens on eve of Dussehra

4 hours ago  
News / Times Of India/ India  
                 

Daily news wrap: Cashback for not skipping EMIs, Trump casts ballot & more

4 hours ago  
News / Times Of India/ India  
                 

J&K: What is People's Alliance & Gupkar Declaration?

7 hours ago  
News / Times Of India/ India