A 71-year-old man who calls himself Dadaji (or “grandpa” in Hindi) is intimately familiar with life on the edge. He makes a choice each day, and some seniors prefer taking it easy during retirement. Dadaji would rather do yoga on a BMX bike, perched on top of a mountain, no less!
So, if you thought the movements at your yoga class were taxing, try striking a yoga pose while balancing on the front wheel of a bike at the edge of a cliff! Dadaji is an inspiration. He loves yoga and loves his country. BMX yoga is just his way of preserving India’s heritage, albeit with a twist.
India Builds Its Own Glaciers
Decades ago, a curious boy noticed water trickling out of a semi-frozen pipe in a mountain village in Ladakh on a frosty morning. The water collected in a small crater on the ground and froze like a glacier. Little did he know that this simple observation would lead to a ground-breaking invention. Fast forward to 1986, and that boy became a civil engineer changing the lives of his community.
Chewang Norphel created the first artificial glacier to combat the acute water crisis in the town of Leh. Like most people ahead of their time, Norphel faced opposition and even ridicule, the "Ice Man of India" persisted, and the world is better for it. Norphel has since built at least 17 artificial glaciers across Ladakh.
A Young Indian Scientist Built the World’s Smallest Satellite
India's young scientists created the world's smallest satellite called Kalam Sat. Who was this team, and how young were they? Rifath Sharook, an 18-year-old student from Tamil Nadu, and his team were not professional space scientists or engineers. What they lacked in experience, they more than made up for in passion.
This young lot made history as the first Indian team to have their own satellite on a NASA rocket. Kalam Sat is a tribute to the late Abdul Kalam, India’s former President, and leading scientific mind. The satellite was the only Indian payload at NASA's Wallop Island facility during the launch, but how small was the world’s smallest satellite? It weighs only 64 grams, essentially a 3.8cm cube that fits in one’s palm!
The Kohinoor Paan to Spice Things Up in the Bedroom
The land that gave us Kama Sutra is full of surprises still. Say hello to the Kohinoor paan at Tara Pan Center in the Indian city of Aurangabad. Paan is a popular breath freshener in India made from betel leaves stuffed with betel nuts, spices, and tobacco. What makes this Paan so special? It allegedly contains aphrodisiac effects that can last up to two days! That's right, two whole days of added spice in the bedroom.
Mohammed Sarfuddin Siddiqui has been operating the shop for over 30 years, and he even exports his magical paan to countries in the Middle East. The ingredients used in this plan are carefully selected and different for men and women, ensuring maximum effectiveness. The catch? The store only serves married couples, and it will set them back a neat INR 5000 (around $60).
The Country of Gastronomical Challenges, If You’re Up to It
If you’re the kind who enjoys a food challenge, India will put your stomach to the ultimate test. Move over, pie-eating competitions, and say hello to the legendary 'Baahubali Thali' challenge in the Indian city of Hyderabad. Your challenge - should you choose to accept it - is to finish a meal of 30 vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes within 30 minutes.
The cash prize is ₹1 lakh ($1000). This thali (platter) is famously massive and not for the faint-hearted, and it includes chicken biryani, prawns curry, schezwan noodles, salad, raita, and drinks for ₹1,800 ($22). Would you give this a go?