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Sunday, November 4, 2001
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Taking a look at anger calmly

APROPOS of Maharaj K Kaul’s write up "Looking at anger calmly" (October 14), it is said aptly that: "Anger is a king of madness. It poisons the mind, blurs the vision and clouds the judgement". In fact, where there is anger, there is absence of wisdom and where there is wisdom, there is not anger. It is anger alone in the world that causes great pain to man. An angry person does harm to others, but more than that, he harms himself. At the height of anger, he forgets himself and is unable to distinguish between right and wrong. He may utter words that ought not to be uttered and may commit acts that should not be committed. Success in social and spiritual practices is impossible to a man of angry temperament.

There are numerous examples in shastras to prove that whoever has attained anything worth attaining has attained it by renouncing the evil of anger. Even the most powerful man becomes weak while he is angry. An angry person loses not only his mental powers but also his physical strength. Under the passion of anger people are seen committing murders and suicides.

Wise men succeed in gaining victory over the passion of anger. This gives them the willpower to overcome tremendous calamities.

K.M. VASHISHT, Mansa

 


II

Many men and women are afflicted with hurts and resentments that grow with time. It is difficult to admit, that one has within oneself anger, hostility, violence and jealousy. It is hard to admit that we are not the pleasant persons we think we are. Often anger expresses accumulated irritations. These irritations, each rather small in itself, gather force by reason of the one being added to the other and finally blaze forth in a fury that often leaves us abashed at ourselves. We must remember that anger always begins with folly and ends with repentance. If someone speaks to you with anger, shower him with love, smiles and good wishes.

O.P. SHARMA, Faridabad

Wife who surrenders

Mohinder Singh’s article "The wife who surrenders is the one who conquers" (October 21) was an interesting piece. One of the suggestions given in the book The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle is that a sabbatical from marriage would help bring back the conjugal glory it was had. The one reason for the erosion of the mutual love is the fact that the wife, after the lapse of a few years, starts bossing over the husband. What is required instead is that the wife should express her gratitude for the things, even the trivial and routine, that her husband does.

The fact is that marriage is a carnival of love. That should make the long, chequered period of married life ecstatic, beautiful and a matter of divine glory. But this is possible only if the husband and the wife are both educated and have admiration and adoration for each other.

HANS RAJ JAIN, Moga

 


Fairy tales

"Fairy Tales’ art of subversion" by Juhi Bakshi (October 14), was a thought-provoking article.

No doubt, the tales cited by the author are sexist, but they reflect the ideas prevalent at a certain period of time.

We may write modern fairy tales of liberated men and women in anti-bacterial suits mastering space and time. But the old fairy tales portray mankind’s vivid imagery and sharp insight into character of humans and animals. If women are pretty and fair, men are handsome and chivalrous, witches are wicked, foxes are sly, lions are strong. Modern tales may end on materialistic tones while the old ones taught moral values.

ROSHNI JOHAR, Shimla

II

I agree that fairy tale books available in the market contain matter which is unrealistic, misleading and can imprint wrong notions to children. In these fairy tales pretty girls are depicted dreaming and waiting for some prince, who is depicted as a hero —bold, brave, handsome, active, extrovert, rich — to take charge of her life and fulfil her dreams. The man is held in high esteem while the woman is treated as a commodity, is dominated by the man and thus relegated to the background in spite of the fact that she has all the moral qualities i.e. goodness, kindness, talent, inner beauty.

All this is totally unacceptable and illogical. We should not teach children that women have to be passive self-sacrificing, patient and continue to be to be exploited by the so-called hero. Let us put an end to this unhealthy practice which has outlived its utility. The message appropriate for the present times is one of equality, acceptance of talent in girls and recognition of inner beauty in preference to external physical one.

So there is need to rewrite fairy tales, so that our children, sons as well as daughters, are provided with positive role models worth emulation. Through these tales we have to impart higher values to our children so that they can imbibe the values of truth, beauty and goodness.

K.L. BATRA, e-mail

IV

It is time we re-write our fairy tales. The tales that we have grown up with project an unreal world. At first we tell children about fairies, miracles and supernatural acts which undermine hard labour and perseverance, and then expect them to be realistic and forget all that they were taught and told. These tales are also biased against women. Women are always projected as second fiddle, to be fed and taken care of by men. A woman has to be beautiful in order to attract the attention of her prince charming. Thus there appear to be an attempt to force women to fit into particular roles that discourages, innovation creativity and independent thinking. Further by emphasising physical beauty they make children so conscious of their looks that they do not spend time in developing their mental abilities.

B.M. PURI, Solan

III

Fairy tales are works of fiction and parents and grand parents had been narrating these tales much before the advent of radio, motion pictures and even the T.V. without any adverse effect on their off-springs.

PARTAP DHIR, Chandigarh

Women’s role

Apropos of Taru Bahl’s "When relationship building, not ‘networking’, bore fruit" (October 21). It is unfortunate that a woman’s significance in our social set-up is not measured by her talent and values. Often she is loved for her capacity to earn and add to family income. Little do we seem to realise that lasting relationships are formed not on the basis of the utility factor but on genuine love and compassion.

Whenever the building of a career is given precedence over social obligations, results are distressing and even disastrous. A lop-sided approach to woman’s role leads to social imbalance.

Real happiness and contentment lies not in aping the western role models but it is in asserting one’s identity in ones socio-cultural set up.

VED GULIANI, Hisar

V.S. Naipaul

This refers to Darshan Singh Maini’s article "V.S. Naipaul’s genius and its limitations (October 21)". There are a couple of things in this article that I would like to comment upon: a) the writer cannot be accused of making his prose easy to read, and b) Naipaul’s novel Guerillas, which the writer says is an "African" novel, was actually set in a fictional Caribbean island, near the Bahamas.

N.S. DHAMI, e-mail

II

It is a real delight to read Naipaul’s works. He wields a magic with words. Students of literature and creative writing have got a lot to learn from his works and style of writing.

ONKAR CHOPRA, Ludhiana

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