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Sunday, December 23, 2001
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Call of Mount Kailas

THIS refers to the article "The call of legendary Mount Kailas" (December 9). The Vedas have described the holy Mount Kailas (Kailas) as Meru or Sumeru, the centre of this universe and abode of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva’s consort, Parvati, is the daughter of Himalayaraj and she resides on mountain tops. This is why Devi Ma’s temples are often found on mountain tops.

The heavenly scenes, one encounters during the circumambulation of the holy Mount Kailas on a clear day, are difficult to describe in words.

O.P. Sharma
Faridabad

Mysteries of silk

"The mysteries of silk" by B.N. Goswamy (December 2) was very interesting.

Varanasi, formerly Banaras, and mentioned in Pali literature as Kasi, was reputed for its silk. Kasi Kuttami and Kasiya were generic terms for certain silks. In the second century B.C, Patanjali mentions Kasiya as a silk superior to that manufactured in Mathura.

 


Silk-weaving of dhotis, saris and chaddars probably commenced in the pilgrim centre of Varanasi. It was imperative for these to be in pure silk as they were required for puja purposes. This tradition exists today also.

A Chinese queen, Sing-Ling-te, who invented the first loom was worshipped after her death as Goddess of Silkworm. Chinese silk was a fashionable evening wear in Egypt. Pliny disapproved of it.

Silk was a commodity which linked the Orient to the Occident.

Roshni Johar
Shimla

A fevered mind

Apropos Surinder Malhi’s write-up "Fruits of a fevered mind" (December 2). It is a fact that genius flourishes in evil circumstances. Dr Proust who studied the lives of about 300 personalities says that 72 per cent of them suffered from depressive conditions. It is a fact that many a man became a genius by acquiring a disease. Beethoven’s work, for example, was intended to overcome the insecurity stemming from his deafness. Keats, in the later part of his life, remained seriously ill, but he produced the best part of his poetry. Milton also became a tormented genius. He became totally blind and then wrote his masterpieces Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained.

Dr Livingstone explored the Dark Continent of Africa despite recurrent attacks of fever, dearth of drinking water and the hostility of the native tribes. Demosthenes used to stammer, but by sheer force of will, he ultimately became one of the greatest orators of the world.

Vijay Sheel Jain
Ludhiana

Parental love

Shobha Vishwanath’s write-up "Not of my flesh" (December 9) reveals that life without children or foster-children is bare and bleak indeed.

Deep, unfathomable, unquenchable parental love may and does induce parents to neglect or injure the best interests of humanity in order to secure certain advantages for their own child.

Parents naturally love their children but they must learn to not love too much. They must learn to channel love for their families to the service of a higher social group.

AVTAR NARAIN CHOPRA
Kurukshetra

Writing a diary

Apropos of Taru Bahl’s "Diary as a confidante and soulmate" (December 9). There can be no doubt that one’s personal diary not only proves to be a confidante and a soulmate but is also an impartial and keen observer, a positive critic and a selfless guide. One’s sincere habit of writing a diary encourages one to respect others’ individuality and their right to privacy.

It is through my 30 years experience of writing diary that I feel that one learns not only to appreciate others’ point of view but also tries to overcome anger and excitement at certain point of time. This changes one’s whole perspective of looking at friends, relatives and others in a different and wholesome light. With its continuous reinforcement of objectivity and auto-suggestions of reform, diary definitely prepares one to boldly face the world.

It is valuable to read one’s own diary after some time and to impartially evaluate whether one has been able to overcome certain weaknesses of character and temperament during the intervening time.

Ved Guliani
Hisar

Remembering Mirpur

This refers to Sansar Chandra’s "Reliving the tragedy of Mirpur" (November 25). The frenzied rain of bullets and mortar upon the innocent citizens by the Kabaili marauders, who were aided and abetted by the Pakistan army during October-November 1948, rendered innumerable people especially Hindus and Sikhs, homeless. Thousands of people lost their lives in the carnage.

The writer has given a kaleidoscopic view of the tragedy of Mirpur. The survivors till today solemnly remember their dearest departed souls. I, too, remember my dearest ones and salute them through these august columns.

Jatinder Kumar Gupta
Panchkula

 

The magnificent Maharaja

Satish K. Kapoor’s article "The magnificent Maharaja" (November 11) was clear and concise. All the three communities were fully represented in Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s army and administration.Muslim Maharani Bibi Mehran known for her beauty and ready wit was his much-loved queen in whose name the Maharaja had got a gold coin minted. He expressed the wish that after him, the Koh-i-Noor diamond, which he had wrested from the Afghans, be sent to the temple of Jagannath at Puri.

Although the Maharaja’s cavalry was largely Sikh, his infantry comprised Muslim Najeebs and Gorkhas. His top commanders were drawn from all communities. He celebrated Hindu, Muslim and Sikh festivals alike.

S.S. Jain
Chandigarh.

 

Dismal story of Indian sports

The twin articles "The dismal story of Indian sports" by K.R. Wadhwaney and "Lack of sports psychologists affect performance" by Ravi Dhaliwal not only make a very interesting reading but also revive our fast-failing interest in sports. As a nation are we really serious about sports? The hard reality is that our interest in sports is confined to watching Test cricket on TV and that is about all. When our cricket stars are punished for show of indiscipline on the cricket field, we raise a hue and cry and even our MPs in the Lok Sabha register a loud protest. We are interested only in the politics of soprts. It does not worry us a bit if the Indian sports scene continues to dip. We are least bothered if our over all performance in international competitions has been generally dismal, occasionally disgraceful and rarely satisfactory. It is a matter of national shame.

ONKAR CHOPRA,
New Delhi


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