The Tribune - Spectrum


Sunday, March 18, 2001

Love: It is all in the stars

A propos of Sarah Painell’s article "Love: It is all in the stars" (February 25) depicts how the loves and lives of a few Hollywood stars are influenced by their zodiac signs.

The zodiac sign of a person reveals his characteristics to a great extent. There are apparent connections between certain events on earth and the positions of the sun, moon and planets. Traditionally the sun, moon and planets (often loosely called the stars) are said to influence events on earth. The modern view, given by psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, is that events coincide with particular patterns of the stars. The phenomenon is known as synchronicity.

To study synchronicity between one’s personality and the stars, a complete and accurate horoscope or birthchart must be made. This shows the positions of the sun, moon and planets at the time of birth, relative to the place of birth. The birth chart indicates many features, only one of which is the position of the sun at birth (zodiac sign). The zodiac sign plays a crucial role in moulding certain personality types.

There are many factors that influence our personality. Apart from one’s zodiac sign, one’s heredity and environments play significant roles. That is why stars can give descriptions of how a person may behave rather than what he or she might actually do. In essence, the exact future cannot be predicted by studying the stars.



Oh, to be young

This refers to the article "Oh! to be young!" by Prerana Trehan (February 18), in which the writer has described the way the young generation has stormed the world in every field.

True, a few years back the young generation was told to follow the rules set by the older generation, to wait in the wings and gain precious experience before taking the reigns of the world in their hands. Grey hair and maturity in years were amongst the obvious prerequisites for a person to be deemed fit to take on the responsibility of leading the world in any sphere. Youth was considered rash and brash, suitable only to be moulded according to the perceptions of those maturer than them. But all this has changed almost as if with a magic wand.

The equations have changed. Youth has taken the world by storm, their hitherto unrecognised potential being realised as never before. Youth is armed with freshness of vision, is unfettered by crippling prejudices and can take unbelievable risks and chances. Youth has not been fatigued by the limitations of day-to-day life and can dream almost impossible dreams. From the presidents of the world to entrepreneurs and IT specialists and entertainers, the young generation has really got the world at its feet. It is actually due to their unfettered zeal and achievements that nowadays we no longer take the young generation non-seriously as a frivolous group of the world’s population.

But one significant point must not be overlooked. The young generation is not an assembly line product, each and everyone is a potential genius or child prodigy. Let us not pressurise them all to perform superhuman feats, for such stress can break them. Let the performers perform, but let the non-achievers also smile and be loved just for being our dear children.



There is no doubt that the youth is the life force of a country and it will have to be accepted that those under 40 have always been a force to reckon with. In the fight for freedom from the British rule, for example, the Indian youth played a significant role. The trouble started only after the country became free. With Independence the youth increasingly felt that their relevance to the destiny of free India was diminishing. Old heads argued that the youth were immature and irresponsible and, therefore, incapable of taking rational decisions on vital issues. Hence the absence of youth in political leadership continued for a pretty long time.

The youth have been confined to performing the role of flag-bearing, slogan-chanting activists. The change in political ethos from the pre-Independence days has a lot to do with the predominant youth force of the country being pushed to the wall. From being a mission and means of service to career-oriented, money-spinning avenue, the changed face of today’s polity has resulted in the younger generation reluctant to join politics.

A more transparent approach based on merit and performance has to be adopted to promote and hone the skills of young people to handle future challenges. The practice of promoting favourites has done considerable harm to the nation during the last five decades.

The new millennium will belong to a more effervescent political organisation fired by youth power and, of course, assisted by experience. There is no reason why we cannot combine the wisdom of elder statesmen with youthful vigour of the younger generation.

Thus the country’s political system has to remodel itself to the needs of the new millennium by infusing fresh youthful life into the Indian polity.



Miranda’s expression in Shakespeare’s The Tempest: "O brave new world! That has such people in’t!", finds its modern expression in the article.

The new breed of young peoples described in the feature seems to belong to a world where mobiles, discos, internet chat and designer wear are accepted norms of life.

But unfortunately looking around for such youth in the small town where I live, the picture confronting my eyes was not at all rosy. The aimless crowd of young people getting the education needed to fend for themselves in the highly competitive world of job hunting, with worry writ large on their faces, disheartens even an optimist like me.



The writer focuses only on the youth of big cities, their hobbies, habits and indulgences. The youth of rural areas, lower-middle class of urban areas and the countless slums are not even casually referred to.

Youth of the elite families do not represent the entire youth community of India. They are essentially vehicles of life values of a capitalist society which continuously sucks the blood of the poor and weak. Their so-called modern culture does not resemble the culture of any village or small town, rather it appears as a strange hodge-podge of the oriental and occidental lifestyles. The icons of this privileged social group are beauty queens, film-stars and successful traders. They don’t have the time to remember Bhagat Singh, Subhash Chandra Bose and Aruna Assif Ali. These youngmen and women enjoy cocktail parties, celebrate Valentine’s Day and get lost for some hours in discotheques. But they don’t seem to be interested in raising their voice against social atrocities and injustice.

I don’t believe that such youth can inspire the majority of Indian youth in any way. But I don’t blame them for their specific mindset. Villain-dominated films, TV serials which propagate negative and decadent life-values and the rampant corruption in social and political circles shape their basic attitude towards life. The hedonist philosophy of "eat, drink and be merry", does not leave any room for their positive growth.

What the writer says may be true in the case of big cities of India but it does not carry any meaning for the rural youths. Love affairs and open romance are still frowned upon in our villages and small towns. Many young people have been hacked to death in the recent past for carrying on love affairs outside their caste. The common people of all castes still don’t approve of inter-caste marriages. Even in big cities, except in the case of the elites, the usual scenario is that of an open hostility to love and romance and the rich middle class families also look down upon such relations.


Unjust act

Refer to the article "Cruel Sport" by Prabhjot Singh (February 11), I was shocked to read The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, quoted in the article. The penalty imposed on offenders for ill-treating an animal ranges from a measly Rs 10 to Rs 50 which can be increased to Rs 25 to Rs 100 in case of a second offence!

How in the world does this Act have the power to prevent cruelty? It is so ineffective that it can be broken by the offenders again and again. Is this the way we strive to take care of these poor and harmless creatures who are totally dependent on us? Have the makers of this law found the lives of these animals only worth Rs 100?

These animals should be treated well. Offenders should be dealt with with more severity in terms of fines and imprisonment so as to prevent the torture of animals.



Certainly cruelty to animals should be condemned but the blanket ban imposed on animal events in rural Punjab sports in Ludhiana is a bit drastic. It will definitely take the charm out of the rural games. Animals participating in these games can be tested. If they test positive, action should be taken against their owners.

The participation of animals in games and sports cannot be dubbed as ‘cruelty’, which is a vague and vast term and needs to be explained thoroughly. Even milking of the milch cattle amounts to cruelty according to these people. Can the protagonists of ‘no cruelty to animals’ ban milk and milk products?


Red rose

The write-up "Romancing the queen of flowers" by Roshni Johar (February 11) was very interesting.Babur was an ardent lover of flowers. He must have been inspired by the beauty of gul (red rose) in christening his daughters Gulbadan (authoress of the Humayun-namah), Gulchehr and Gulrang.

Farhaad’s beloved, Sheereen, had named her horse Gulgoon (roseate).

The imaam or sumer, i.e. the large bead in rosary, is called gul-e-tasbeeh (rose of the chaplet). Red-coloured wine is called gulaab-e-gulgoon.

A beautiful woman may be described as a rose of her sex. A young unmarried girl is called gul-e-naashaguftah, or rose bud. Beloved‘s lips are described as gulberg (rosepetal). Famous Urdu poet, Mir Taqi Mir said: Naazuki us key lab ki kya kaihiye/Pankhri ik gulaab ki si hai.

Bulbul (nightingale) is also called guldum, because of its rose-coloured tail.

Gulqand is a preserve of roses. One day, during his stay in Delhi, the Persian conqueror, Nadir Shah, felt some abdominal disorder. A hakeem gave him gulqand. The Shah realised it and said: "Halva khoob art. Bisyaar bayaar" (The pudding is very delectable. Bring a plenty of it).

A very hopeful person is said to take rose-coloured views or see through rose-coloured spectacles. When prospects seem very encouraging, they are said to be rose-coloured or rose-hued. Rose-water manners are such as show affected delicacy or refinement.

Giani Zail Singh and Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru always displayed a red rose on the breast of their achkans/jackets.


The game of success

Apropos of D.C. Sharma’s article. "The game of success" (February 25), success has many components and determination, tenacity and honesty are essential for success.

Success appears attractive to everybody. Each one of us wants to be successful in every sphere of life. The secret of success is non-attachment to the results, but doing one’s best at the moment, and letting the results take care of themselves.


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