Sunday, October 12, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


Living single is not mirthful

Ms Gitanjali Sharma’s article “Merrily unmarried?” (Windows, Sept 13) was thought provoking. To live single may free oneself of all pressures of responsibilities but is not mirthful. Because in this life, there is no exchange of ideas or thoughts.

It is true that it (single life) brings dullness in the character with the images of sadness, loneliness, aloofness, etc. But people with the thought that unmarried persons are better off than those of unhappily married are wretched because they never think or realise that marriage is a pure and beautiful relationship of two minds and souls.

It is perhaps our forefathers who made this gender game a religious affair to meet all (physical, social, economic) flavours in life out of any dimensions (legally). But this relation may not be successful until both partners have mature understanding and also believe in compromise.

People who claim the voluntary or involuntary causes for their single life are truly a suffered lot because of their poor state of mind regarding their professions or careers. Such problems may be solved if you think of the positive aspect of marriage. So be true to your life and merrily married.

ANJU ANAND, Chambaghat (Solan)




This has reference to Ms Gitanjali Sharma’s article “Merrily unmarried”. The piece was not only thought provoking but also touched upon the thoughts, feelings and sentiments of this rising segment of UPT's (Unmarried Professionals in Thirties).

No doubt, our society is changing progressively and the attitudes of UPT’s have drastically changed. Still, single status, especially of the woman in her thirties is questioned with raised eyebrows. And somewhere along the line, a subtle presence builds up after one crosses the big 30-mark.

Those first signs of grey...those first fine lines on the forehead...and the writing on the wall is clear — time is ticking by. I feel that marriage in our society immediately grants an exalted status to the person getting married. And as the writer has correctly stated, we are culturally so conditioned that we associate happiness only with a married and cannot think otherwise.

I, however, feel at the end of the day, each one of us has to find his or her own reasons for happiness — be it happily married or happily unmarried.


Giving live-in relationship its due

THIS has reference to the letter “Live-in relationship” (Perspective, Sept 14). Using indecent words for a relationship, which may be acceptable to some, neither makes it debasing nor sinful. However, even in this mud-slinging, a typical male chauvinistic attitude is revealed, especially when the relationship is called “a debasement of womanhood” or the woman referred to as a “concubine”. The man in question is not addressed with derogation or reprobation.

One need not be a closed mind of stagnant waters to lash out at anything coming from the west. By the way, ‘Gandharva Vivaha’ is a very old tradition, which was acceptable in India at one time. The concept of ‘sin’ and ‘morality’ itself varies in society. Also, it could have a highly personal flavour to it. Then, the couple that has the mental strength to opt for a ‘live-in relationship’ need not bother about the ‘ruthless’ attitude of society. To be cowed down with fixed, age-old and at times nearly redundant social norms is not their cup of tea. Freedom of the individual (restricted only to the point where the liberty of the other beings) is the norm of the world today. And ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakum’ is our Indian dictum from the scriptures.

We need to do away with the decaying mindset which inhibits human commitments and relationships. Mutual understanding between partners is much more important than mere ‘veneration of society’. A socially respectable marriage is a total failure if the partners involved are either daggers drawn with each other or if there exists the silence of the graveyard between them. The relationship merely becomes a societal farce (since ‘divorce’ is also taboo), a dead snakeskin, which both partners are somehow trudging on with together with the additional burden, at times, of unwanted progeny.

People in live-in relationships will normally abstain from bringing in their offspring before making their own relationship stable. This is a big-plus, since in marriages, child burden crops up in even before the husband and wife have actually developed a rapport with each other. Then the same old story begins.

Yes, you are right. Live-in relationships need to be “extricated” which means ‘set-free’ from the benumbing bondage of society. In this quagmire of drawing room adorning of ‘Waste land’ (T.S. Eliot) like marriage proximity of the multitude, a live-in relationship is a fresh flower that needs to be given its due space.



Women’s rights

This has reference to Ms Anupriya Sethi’s article “Women as decision makers” (Perspective, Sept 14). At least after 56 years of our independence, women are being aware of their potential and rights. Nowadays, women are becoming a solid rock in their convictions and decisions, having suffered for decades or centuries.

The Indian women have stepped out of their shells and have now mustered enough confidence and paise to look at the world in its eyes. The women of today represent a healthy blend of the modern and the traditional. Many examples of courageous and daring women were mentioned in the article. These women are great sources of motivation, extraordinary grit and firm will for other women. But as there are always two sides of a coin, most women in our country continue to be in chains.

For example, most women in Uttar Pradesh are mostly confined to the four walls of the house, looking after their kids and attending to domestic chores. Women in Rajasthan are compelled to marry at a young age, which is illegal.



Ms Anupriya Sethi has done a good piece. Women have no choice to be independent. They have to bow to the wishes of men, despite being educated and employed.

Women have no authority to take any decision in the family. It is the husbands and the in-laws who rule the roost. All right-thinking intellectuals and citizens should come forward and change the male-dominated society’s partial attitude towards women. After all, a women is a daughter, wife, mother, sister and so on.


Kasturba Gandhi

Apropos of Inderdeep Thapar’s piece “More than the Mahatma’s shadow” (Spectrum, Oct 5), the writer has rightly made an effort to cover the story of the person who was largely responsible for turning a man into Mahatma. Though she herself lived like a conservative Indian woman, she inspired the great man.

History tells us only about the Mahatma’s path of Ahimsa and his contribution to the freedom struggle but little about Kasturba Gandhi who inspired the Mahatma.

Even Gandhi acknowledges that his first lesson in passive resistance was learnt from her wife Kasturba. In the initial years of her marriage, she had to make a lot of compromises in her life, but slowly she accepted. It is indeed a good effort towards women who have gone down the memory lane.

The whole of India knows about the contributions of the Mahatma but writing about Kasturba really brings out the fact that she was equally important in India’s struggle for freedom as she was in the forefront as well behind the Great Mahatma.


Factually incorrect

I was shocked to find “Mrityudand” and “Ghulam” included in Mr M.L. Dhawan’s analysis of the films released during 1996 (Spectrum, Sept 21). Actually, these films were not released in 1996. “Mrityudand” came on July 11, 1997 and “Ghulam” on June 19, 1998.

Moreover, the writer has described “Ghulam” as Dharmesh Darshan’s movie.

Actually, Dharmesh had nothing to do with the movie which was produced by Mukesh Bhatt (under the banner of Vishesh Films) and directed by Vikram Bhatt!

Also, the correct name of the actress who played the title role in “Naseem” is Mayuri Kango, and not Mayuri Kanungo.


Dev Anand’s film

Reference to the write-up on Dev Anand (Spectrum 27). It has been wrongly mentioned that his film “Hum Ek Hain” was made in 1964. It was actually 1946.

M.P.S. RANDHAWA, Numberdar, Dhapai (Kapurthala)

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