1. Why did Morarji Desai celebrate his first birthday when he was eight years old?
He was born on Feb 29, 1896. Thus his birthday appears only in leap years. There is also a rule that a century year such as 1900 is a leap year only if it is divisible by 400. Thus he saw Feb 29 only in 1904, when he was 8 years old.
2. There was a West Indies cricketer named Sewnarine Chattergoon. What would the original first name and second name be if his family had remained in India?
Sewnarine = Shivnarain is simple enough. Chattergoon is derived from Shatrughan, according to a Trinidadian friend of Indian ancestry.
3. Which famous American writer has a close connection with Halley’s Comet?
Arthur Hailey was a nice guess. However, the answer is:
(This used to appear on US aerograms some years ago).
4. Which American President has lived the longest?
Jimmy Carter, who will celebrate his 95th birthday on Oct 1.
Earlier this year he overtook George Bush (Sr) who passed away last year at 94+.
5. Which presently famous town in Pakistan was a part of Oman until 1957?
Gwadar. See more details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gwadar#Omani_rule
6. What does Mukesh Ambani have in common with British politician Keith Vaz?
They were both born in Aden, then a British colony and now a part of Yemen. There used to be a sizeable Indian population there.
7. You have heard of Christ and Antichrist. Which state in India has an (almost) anti version in the form of another country?
Goa and Antigua (strictly, Antigua and Barbuda).
8. The Karakoram Highway does not pass through the Karakoram Pass. Which pass does it go through?
The Khunjerab Pass. See this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karakoram_Highway
9. Which popular German band had a name which is the German for “power station”?
Kraftwerk (known for electronic music since the 1970s)
10. Back to 1. Morarjibhai was not the longest lived PM of India. Who was?
Remember that Gulzarilal Nanda does appear in the list of Indian prime ministers.
See this chart: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_prime_ministers_of_India
Both Morarji Desai and Gulzarilal Nanda crossed 99. If you look at their individual articles, you can see that the latter lived for 99/06/12, overtaking the former who reached 99/01/13. Manmohan Singh is a youngster who has just celebrated his 87th birthday. Next in line is HD Deve Gowda who is 86+. AB Vajpayee crossed 93.
11. The only non-human ape native to India is the Hoolock gibbon. How did it get this name?
The official answer appears to be that this is the Assamese name for it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoolock_gibbon
However, other sources mention that this is related to the sound they make. Google for audio/video of the animal and decide.
If you have heard of the Rafflesia and Russell’s Viper, you would be excused for thinking that it was discovered by an Englishman named Hoolock (as in Jackson Pollock and Shaun Pollock).