The day telegrams came to a final STOP

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Source: commons.wikimedia.org

Indians awoke on Monday to find their 162-year-old telegram service rendered obsolete, superseded by SMS, e-mail and Twitter.

Arguably one of the oldest victims of the digital age, telegrams were the fastest communication method from the 19th century.

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While Indian football sleeps, its young hopefuls dream of playing abroad

Steve McMahon Football Academy, Delhi Photographed by Monica Sarkar

Steve McMahon Football Academy, Delhi
Photographed by Monica Sarkar

“Theatre of Dreams” reads the plaque on the classroom door of Manchester United Soccer School in Mumbai. Nutritional advice and tactics are scribbled on the whiteboard and a Wayne Rooney portrait hangs on the wall.

But if the future of the domestic sport lies at the feet of new talent, youngsters are dreaming of playing in stadiums abroad, not at home.

This article is published on CNN.com – click here to read more.

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Violence against women is a crime the world over

Photographed by Monica Sarkar

Subject of respect or object of desire?
Photographed by Monica Sarkar

The tragic case of the Delhi gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman last year forced India to take a long, hard look at itself in the mirror and decide how to change.

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My religion is: What suits me

Religion

“What religion are you?” a man on the high street asks me, whilst holding a wad of leaflets promoting Islam.
“I don’t belong to any religion,” I reply.
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How football is changing lives of Indian slum girls

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By Monica Sarkar

As soon as I heard about Franz Gastler, I had to find out more. A middle-class American man, living in India’s poorest state of Jharkhand, teaching young girls football and helping them gain independence.

When I met him, he was expanding his initiative to Dharavi slum – India’s largest slum – whilst living there too.

Read my article on the BBC website and watch this space for a potential documentary and book.

Find out more about Franz’s initiative Yuwa – meaning youth in Hindi.

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India needs to talk about sex

By Monica Sarkar

By Monica Sarkar

‘Eve teasing’. It’s such a cute, endearing term, isn’t it? Almost sounds like a child’s game, like ‘Hyde and Seek’ or ‘Kiss Chase’.

Well, it’s not. It’s a sugar-coated expression commonly used in India for the sexual harassment of women, invading their personal space as they walk down the street, and heckling, amongst other less pleasing but truthful terms.

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What is a football match like in India?

Believe it or not, India is not just a cricket-crazy nation; football has been played since the 19th century when British soldiers introduced the sport to the country. And according to marketing experts, football is India’s second most popular sport today – after cricket.

So what is a football match like in India? I went to a game in Kolkata, the founding city of the sport, where a revered footballer’s last match pulled in a crowd of 30,000. Here’s my review (click on image to enlarge):

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Earth’s obituary (if one day, it really does end)

Apocalypse

By Monica Sarkar

There isn’t another being that could have borne the stresses and strains of this celestial body. The phenomenal weight of over seven billion human beings and millions of species of animals, plants and algae, to be a bit more precise. Continue reading

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Never ask a child what they want to be when they grow up

Creator unknown

Creator unknown

“Where has the year gone?!” exclaim many of us, as Christmas decorations twinkle at us from high street shop windows (okay, they’ve actually been there since August) and we start reflecting on 10 fleeting months.

But for many people, especially university and college students, this is just the beginning of the rest of their lives. Chances are, days upon days were spent scouring through books, deciding on the perfect subject of study, along with soul-searching as though they were lost at sea. Continue reading

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HOT HOTELS: Tree of Life, New Delhi, India

Tree of Life lounge

What’s hot?

I didn’t find this gem of a B&B from a guidebook, travel magazine or website. I was searching for recommended car hire companies before I had sorted out where I was staying (yes, I sometimes do things in a peculiar order). And my faithful Lonely Planet India guidebook  said I should look no further than The Metropole Tourist Service.

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