It was in the early 19th century that an enterprising English ship captain took a group of Indian entertainers to England, where they stunned audiences with their juggling, balancing, sword-swallowing and other tricks.
For his research, JC Bose had to invent his own instruments, which had to be ultra-sensitive, far more than anything available then. It was with some pride that he later informed international scientists that all the instruments were made in India, by Indian workmen.
Make History Fun Again: Today, Gandhiji seems like a remote, stern leader, far removed from ordinary people. But he was a person too, who was once young, who had his own growth story and his own quirks.
Make History Fun Again: Indians produced the first true steel, fusing iron with a high amount of carbon (1 to 1.6 per cent). They did this by sealing iron and charcoal into clay containers called crucibles, and roasting these at extremely high temperatures in furnaces.
Making History Fun Again: The Arthashastra is not just about the mechanics of manipulation and strategy. Among other tidbits, it tells you how to precisely poison people, how to light your body on fire without hurting yourself and how to create an army of spies.
Textiles of dazzling variety were the backbone of Indian manufacturing, the "most exquisitely wrought brocades, finest linens, silk stuffs interwoven with gold and silver…", as well as carpets, shawls and so on. Woodwork, leather and metalwork were other major crafts.
Indian kings absolutely loved to declare new zero-dates when they started a new dynasty, to signify the beginning of a new glorious era. This new zero-date would be followed throughout their kingdoms, until they were replaced by a new dynasty and a new calendar was inaugurated with a new zero-date!
The famous British author Aldous Huxley was stunned by the sheer amount of food that the British were able to pack away. He said, "Five meals a day - two breakfasts, luncheon, afternoon tea and dinner - are standard throughout India. A sixth is often added in the big towns where there are theatres and dances to justify a late supper."
"The nobles and great folks have their beds made of very light canework, and when they have got in and are going to sleep, they are drawn up by cords nearly to the ceiling and fixed there for the night."