The Tribune - Spectrum

Sunday, October 8, 2000

The world of a geisha

This refers to Pran Nevile’s write-up, "The World of a geisha" (September 24).

The declining number of geishas in Japan clearly shows that the western culture has made a deep impact on the Japanese society. In this fast-moving world, old traditions and customs are disappearing and dying in every part of the globe.


Stand up for yourself

This refers to the article "Standing up for oneself" by Taru Bahl (September 10, 2000) in which she has described the sad case of a harassed and cornered wife.

Many couples with mediocre means manage to create a heaven of happiness for each other and for their children, while many others, despite having been blessed with all the advantages and privileges, make life hell, not only for themselves but for their innocent kids who get caught in the ferocious crossfire for no fault of their own. The basic building blocks of this heaven are respect for each other as human beings and the recognition that each individual has the right to live with dignity. When these basic precepts are flouted, a sad picture, as has been depicted in this case, is bound to emerge.


An emotionally and physically battered woman is in no state to help herself. The constant ill- treatment and victimisation shatters a person’s self-confidence and self-esteem so badly that a sort of animal fear grips her mind, making her a psychological slave, a wreck, unable to stand up for herself and to fight back. In this state, she does need a friendly hand to pull her up, to infuse her with self-confidence and to fill her with strength and motivation to rediscover herself, for she has already lost the capability of stepping out of this quagmire on her own. Very few people have the strength to face and survive the sort of vicious onslaught that a woman who has left her marital home faces. A woman who is so shattered certainly needs a stronger hand to first prepare her to come out of the scarring hallucinations about her own insufficiency.


Smoke signals

This refers to B.K. Sharma’s article titled "Ending life in Smoke" (September, 24). As a matter of fact, India lacks an appropriate strategy for a public campaign against smoking. Though we have gained considerable knowledge on the consequences of smoking, we have failed to make headway in convincing people to give up this habit.

A person who has given up smoking should avoid situations where there can be overwhelming temptation to restart smoking, such as card and drinking sessions. A person bent upon kicking the habit should shun smokers and spend as much time as possible in a non-smoking environment. The individual should also keep away from everything associated with cigarettes.

New Delhi


This refers to the book review "Rethink on enlightenment" by Rumina Sethi (September 17). The picture painted of our present is not rosy at all. It is rather unfortunate that the englightenment movement which galvanised Europe during the 18th century, could not survive the wars, the Holocaust.

While it is appreciated that the enlightenment movement endeavoured to show how the essential order of nature could be scientifically explained, I am not sure whether nature has revealed all its secrets to modern scientists so far. Modern science has, in many ways, failed humanity as it has turned us all into prisoners of technology. We are in need of people who can teach us the science of sensible living.

New Delhi

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