Saturday, September 14, 2002
M A I L  B O X

Problems of car registration

THIS refers to H. Kishie Singh’s write-up “For car registration, go the rigmarole way!” (August 24). Kudos to the writer for bringing to the readers’ notice the problems of car registration and associated work in DTO office. In all major cities of Punjab, the process is painful. A host of touts linger around and charge a few hundred rupees to get the work done. Many times the functionaries concerned are missing. The functionaries are often curt and reject the applications on some grounds or the other. The registration gets done after several visits and several hours of patiently standing in long queues. Only a person with strong legs, besides being strong-willed and on a long vacation from office, can afford to undertake this task.


This above all

Whenever I go through ‘This above all’ by Khushwant Singh, it becomes hard to believe that these run-of-the-mill writings are from the mighty pen of the same writer who once penned Train to Pakistan and Portrait of a Lady. Perhaps it is true that a writer or an artist contributes his best when he is still struggling. As soon as he attains some recognition, a laxity creeps in taking the special touch out of his works.


I have great regards for Khushwant Singh. I haven’t gone through all his works but looking at his first great work, I can hope that he has maintained class in all his books. However, his weekly write-ups are different story. It seems as if he is writing them just for the sake of writing. I eagerly look forward to some unique writings from him.

JAGVIR GOYAL, Chandigarh

Supari killings

Khushwant Singh’s write-up “Supari killing” (August 31) makes interesting reading, as usual. The writer wants to know why and where this kind of killing came to be called supari (areca nut).

Birra chukna means taking on the responsibility of accomplishing a hard task like bringing a severed head or vanquishing a stronger enemy. A king placed a sword, paan-birra and supari in a tray and whosoever chose to pick up the tray took up the challenge to accomplish the task entrusted. On success, he was rewarded handsomely.

With changing times paan-supari birra was reduced to supari meaning thereby an act that is carried out in return for an amount settled beforehand.


An invisible force

Reeta Sharma’s write-up “An invisible workforce come to fore” (August 3), raises a key issue. In the state of Haryana, which has the most unbalanced sex ratio in the country, the plight of women is pathetic.

In every village hordes of youths are seen wasting their time. Unemployed and directionless, they are taking to criminal activities. The age-old saying that “mothers look after the boys and God looks after the girls” seems to hold good with people in the state even today. Though women labour hard in this feudalistic society, their work is neither recognised nor appreciated by their families. Their achievements are not even lauded by their parents, who considered them praya dhan. To improve the situation of women we need more NGOs to come forward and offer help.