Page 206. " ‘Valmiki, the author of the Ramayan’ "

Valmiki Ramayana
Public DomainValmiki Ramayana - Credit: Renebeto
Maharishi Valmiki is celebrated as the father of Sanskrit classical poetry in India. He is revered as the Adi Kavi, which means First Poet, for he discovered the ‘first verse’, which set the base and defined the form to Sanskrit poetry.

He is the author of the epic Ramayana which consists of 24,000 verses, tells the story of Prince Rama, whose wife Sita is abducted by the demon king of Lanka, Rāvana.  The poem is often dated variously from 500 BC to 100 BC.

Full text of Ramayan >>

Page 214. " ‘You think that Tenzing could climb up sniffer’s face’ "
Tenzing Norgay's monument on his grave in Darjeeling
Creative Commons AttributionTenzing Norgay's monument on his grave in Darjeeling - Credit: Joe Gratz

Tenzing Norgay, often referred to as Sherpa Tenzing, was a Nepalese Sherpa mountaineer, who was one of the first two individuals known to have reached the summit of Mount Everest.

On 29 May 1953 he accompanied Edmund Hillary to the top of the world at 1130 local time after a gruelling climb up the southern face.

News coverage of Everest Climb >>

Page 216. " ‘Needed to be sent to the Dhobi’ "

Clothes washing at Dhobi Ghat
Creative Commons AttributionClothes washing at Dhobi Ghat - Credit: Lecercle
The Dhobi are a community of people who specialise in washing clothes. Each Dhobi marks a unique symbol or character on garments belonging to a particular household. This is marked in black indelible ink to prevent it from being washed off. In Mumbai, Dhobis are an integral feature of the city. All the Dhobis wash their linen in the Mahalaxmi area known as Dhobi Ghat.