A profile of the Sikhs
A propos of "The Sikhs" (July 1). The article has been elaborately illustrated with very fine coloured photographs. The photograph at the bottom of the first page bears the caption ‘A mural of Guru Gobind Singh at Nanded.’ At first glance I was astonished to see a life size mural of Guru Gobind Singh. After looking at it carefully. I remembered that it was a mural of Maharaja Karam Singh of Patiala (1798-1845) which adorns the right wall of Masnid, a platform where the Maharaja used to sit on special occasions in his fort at Patiala.
More than a decade ago, Raghu Rai visited the fort in Patiala and took photographs of these paintings. Apparently he forgot to get this particular painting properly identified. The three turbaned Sikhs in the photograph are granthis namely, (from left) Jasdev Singh, Diwan Singh and Harnam Singh who were at that time employed in Burj Baba Ala Singh (in the fort) to recite the Guru Granth Sahib. The last two have since expired.
MOHAN SINGH, Patiala
This refers to the article "Selling the baby dream" by Sadhna Srinivasan (July 8), in which the writer has described how the clinics and doctors are nowadays cheating couples desperate for a child of their own.
The concept of childlessness has undergone a change, but only to run into another kind of rough weather. Previously a woman was held solely responsible for being childless or "barren", as she was cruelly dubbed. She was considered inauspicious and worthless and usually faced the threat of being discarded or dumped by her husband or his family. Now all that has fortunately changed and the fact has penetrated the Indian psyche that either partner can be responsible for a woman being childless and that lots of scientific and medical avenues are open to remedy this situation.
This has given hope to innumerable childless couples and they, understandably, go out of their way to make all efforts to get the infertility treatment with the help of the most advanced techniques. How unscrupulous and contemptible it is on the part of the medical practitioners to mislead them. Doctors should put the facts in front of the couples and then let them decide what they want to do. Strict action should be taken against those who sell the vulnerable couples false dreams or indiscriminately give the women doses of medicines that they know fully well can have destructive side effects.
AMRIT PAL TIWANA, Kalka
Authors and money
Apropos of Manohar Malgonkar’s write up "Stories that make author rich" (July 8). The writer aptly argues that it is the pull of money that drives modern authors to sell film rights of their novels without bothering about any distortions of their original stories. Few authors can resist the temptation of money as E.M. Forester did.
Nevertheless, a life devoted to the acquisition of wealth is useless, unless we know how to use it to give us happiness and this is an art that requires wisdon. It very difficult to come across an author who possess this art.
P.L. SETHI, Patiala
Moments of silence
This refers to Mohinder Singh’s write-up "Fewer and fewer moments of silence" (July 1). It is unfortunate that the decibel level in our cities is steadily rising. People contribute to a city’s noise pollution in their own ways.
Every motorist passing through the street must drive with a hand on the horn. Most of us are generator enthusiasts, addicted to cell-phone conversations while in the middle of a conference/meeting/function, loud music lovers, turning up the music full blast. In every locality, we have hotels/open-air banquet halls that host noisy wedding parties every night. We as citizens suffer from attitudinal problems — we do not seem to be bothered about other’s sleep or comfort. We must shed off our insensitivity and learn to value silence.
ONKAR CHOPRA, Ludhiana
Fall in love
This refers to "Why you should not fall in love" (July 8).
If there are reasons for not falling in love, there are more reasons why you should fall in love.
Because every situation in life must be faced and so why not face it with love.
Because love is a great power, one drop of love is like an ocean in the desert.
Because learning to love yourself frees you from the hatred of others.
Because to have love you give, the more you receive, the more you have, the easier it becomes to give.
Because if a task is performed with love, there is instant success.
Because one word spoken with love can soothe the sorrowful hearts of many.
O.P. SHARMA, Faridabad