Freddie Mercury and Ben Kingsley are iconic names in the entertainment industry. But we bet most people don’t know that both stars have Indian roots. Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara into a Parsi family in Gujarat, India. Mercury spent most of his childhood in India before moving to England at the age of 17. The singer famously remained connected to his Indian heritage. He was proud of his Parsi roots.
Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley was born Krishna Pandit Bhanji in Yorkshire, England, to a father of Indian descent and a British mother. Although he was born and raised in the UK, Kingsley never lost touch with his roots, thanks to his parents, who made sure of it.
The Surprising Way India Launched Its Space Program
Few places in the world function so visibly on dichotomy the way India does. Modernity vs. tradition, order in chaos, spiritual yet scientific – numerous contrasting forces exist harmoniously in the country. The story of India's first rocket has a similar narrative.
The rocket – a breakthrough in scientific research and innovation – was transported to the launching station in an unconventional way. It was so small and lightweight that someone carried the rocket on a bicycle to the Thumba Launching Station in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. The origin story of India’s space ambitions is both humble and grand. The first rocket helped pave the way for India's future as a major player in the global space race.
A Spa for Elephants
Elephants feature prominently in the popular imagination of what India represents. The Punnathoor Cotta Elephant Yard Rejuvenation Centre in Kerala takes it to an awesome and inspiring new level. This one-of-a-kind spa has an incredible mission - to pamper and rejuvenate these gentle giants. The spa’s design and ambiance cater specifically to elephants, prioritizing the animals’ peace and downtime.
Elephants get relaxing baths and massages – much needed in Kerala’s scorching heat. Delicious meals and carefully selected diets are, of course, a part of the spa package. The Punnathoor Cotta Elephant Yard Rejuvenation Centre is an extension of the Guruvayurappan Hindu Temple, where elephants take center stage in temple processions.
India’s Sparkling Diamond Legacy
Everyone loves diamonds, but have you ever wondered about their history? Diamond mining originated in India. The history of diamond mining in the country began as early as the 4th century BC in the Krishna River Delta. It was here that the massive Koh-i-Noor diamond, now part of the British Crown Jewels, was discovered.
For centuries after, India remained the only source of diamonds in the world. It is still one of the busiest diamond-producing hubs, and every diamond enthusiast worth their mettle knows about Surat, for example. This Indian city in the state of Gujarat is the largest diamond-cutting and polishing center in the world.
A Polling Station for One Person
How far would you go to uphold democracy? Not as much as this man, we’re certain. Every election cycle in India, a small but significant polling station comes to life – not on a street somewhere but in the middle of a forest. Mahant Bharatdas Darshandas is the only resident of Banej, a remote village in the heart of Gujarat’s Gir Forest.
That has never stopped him from performing his civic duty. Darshandas shows up every election cycle without fail to cast his vote. The authorities have set up the polling station only for him – the sole voter from Banej. His story gives new meaning to the saying “every vote counts.”