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Virali Modi

Never give up -- these were the simple yet profound words that kept Virali Modi, 26, fighting on after a deadly bout of malaria had her comatose for weeks and left her paraplegic and wheelchair-bound at the age of 14. In coma for 23 days, she miraculously opened her eyes on the day the doctors decided to remove her life-support and has not stopped since then, fighting for her rights -- and those of other disabled people.


Ajman (UAE): Away from the cameras' flash and the eyes of her millions of fans in India, actress Sridevi's body made its way to a simple mortuary in the United Arab Emirates, where one man helped sign out her remains to return home.

Listed only as "ASHRAF" on the official paperwork in Dubai is Ashraf "Sherry" Thamarassery, a 44-year-old Indian from Kerala has already been known as a ferryman of sorts for those who die here in the UAE.


"Arre, maine kuch achieve nahi kiya (I havent achieved anything)... Theres a long way to go. I feel my career has just started. Haan... let me tell you that," said Sridevi, laughing.

Sridevi's lilting laughter -- much like her screen presence, beauty, grace and unmatchable talent -- lingers on as I remember my last conversation, in November 2017, with the actress, who spent 50 of her 54 years of life living the cinematic dream.


Mumbai: Pune adventurist Shital Rane-Mahajan set a new record by becoming the first Indian to skydive sporting a colourful "Nav-wari sari" in Thailand on Monday.

Speaking to IANS shortly after landing, an elated Rane-Mahajan said owing to favourable weather conditions, she was able to skydive twice from an aircraft at heights of around 13,000 above the world-famous tourist resort of Pattaya.


Raja Karthikeya

Hyderabad: He aims to cross the Antarctica, not merely to become the first Indian to traverse both the poles -- North and South -- in under one year, but for a larger cause: Raising awareness about climate change.

Raja Karthikeya, a United Nations civilian peacekeeper, is all set to embark on an expedition to Antarctica next month as part of a team led by Sir Robert Swan, an internationally renowned explorer.


Abandoned in a hospital 48 years ago just after his birth in a hospital in Karnataka's Udupi town, Niklaus-Samuel Gugger was adopted by a Swiss couple.

New Delhi: His biological mother Anasuiya could never have imagined that Niklaus-Samuel Gugger, whom she abandoned in a hospital 48 years ago just after his birth, would be the first Indian to be elected to the Swiss parliament.

Born in CSI Lombard Memorial Hospital, run by Basel Mission, in Karnataka's Udupi town, on May 1, 1970, Niklaus was adopted by a Swiss couple within a week of his abandonment.


Representational image

A few years ago, my brother from New York phoned me on the morning of January the first -- but in America it was still December 31.

I told my kids: "Your uncle is calling from last year." Their eyes widened. I explained: "It sounds weird, but it's all to do with time zones."

When the phone rang an hour later, I answered it and told the kids: "It's your great-grandma. She's phoning from 1880." They nodded sagely and muttered: "Time zones."


Thiruvananthapuram: The year 2017 is one that the Malayalam film industry would perhaps like to forget, given the unexpected and shocking after-effects of the abduction of a popular actress.

The industry was stunned when news broke in February that the young actress had been kidnapped after sunset when she was on her way to a friend's place in the commercial capital of the state, Kochi.

After a two-hour ordeal in a vehicle, she was dumped near the home of a well-known director, to whom she narrated what she had gone through.


Thiruvananthapuram: Tragedy, sleaze, political clashes and allegations of love jihad shook Kerala in 2017.

Disaster struck in the form of Ockhi cyclone, which hit the states shores on November 29-30 and left over 70 fishermen dead while more than 100 are still missing.

Sleazy tales scarred politicians both of the ruling CPI (M)-led LDF and Congress-headed UDF and as if this turmoil was not enough, the state also witnessed the abduction and assault of an actress, allegedly by hired goons to settle scores.


New Delhi: The 70th year since Independence will go down in Indian history since the country switched over to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, realising, thereby, the vision of a unified market in a federal system that guided the nationalist bourgeoisie in joining Mahatma Gandhis struggle to liberate India from the British.