Sharing each other’s joys and sorrows

THIS has reference to the article “So far!” (Dec 14, 2003) by Komal Vijay Singh. It is out of the choice that the girl chooses her husband with good education and handsome salary despite knowing the fact that she will not be able to enjoy the pleasure of staying with her husband through good and trying times.

Those who live separately lead a comparatively tougher life. They are physically and emotionally distanced from their families. That is the reason why some of them turn to God for anchor because they do not find a constant anchor in the form of husband or wife to share one’s joys or sorrows of life.

One may become more confident, bold or wiser by shouldering the entire responsibility but there remains a void between the parents and their children. The children, being more emotional and callow, feel the absence of their parents for they need both mother and father during the formative years of life. One feels comfortable in the presence of one’s life partner.

ANAMICA SHARMA, Panjab University, Chandigarh

The changing woman

Daily we hear about the problem of female foeticide and the falling sex ratio in India. The reasons are many — illiteracy, custom, superstition and so on. It is said that the time will come when it would be difficult for parents to find brides for their sons.


Recently, a TV news channel conducted a survey in some towns. The results were the same as found in metros. The topic was the charging attitude of women in society.

The results revealed that almost all women wanted car, house (own), bank account (individual and not joint) and mobile phone. Fifty per cent wanted all this along with a husband and the rest wanted this with or without a husband. This shows that today’s women have changed. Consequently, the day is not far when people will congratulate the boy’s parents if their son succeeds in getting married.

SHIWATI, Kurukshetra University

Manto: A remarkable fiction writer

THIS has reference to “Manto’s description of the mayhem of 1947” by Khushwant Singh (Windows, Dec 13). Writers like Saadat Hasan Manto, Aziz Ahmad, Hayyat Allah Ansari, Krishen Chander, Ismat Chughtai, Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi, Ramanand Sagar, Upindernath Ashok, Balraj Komal, Muztaba Hussain and Rajinder Singh Bedi, to name a few, have produced a spate of literature on the subject of Partition, which leads to a deep compassion, fellow-feeling, sorrow and tender heartedness.

Manto (1912-55) occupies a unique position. A remarkable fiction writer that he was, his short stories are stronger than even poetry. From a purely artistic, creative, imaginative point of view, Manto’s stories excel those of Krishan Chander who gives tongue to human aspirations, dreams and sufferings.

Manto, influenced by Marxian thought and Gorki’s technique and treatment, translated a number of Russian stories in Urdu. For some time, he was associated with the Progressives, but his own predilections and preferences led him to concentrate on depiction of abnormal sex, which made even his fellow writers criticise his attitude.

A prolific writer, Manto is known for his collections such as Dhuan, Manto Ke Afsane, Lazzat-e-Sang, Namrood Ki Khudai, Khali Dibble Khali Botlen, Thanda Gosht, Badshahat Ka Khatma, Sadak Ke Kinare and Siyah Hashiye.


A reviewer’s job

This has reference to Harish Dhillon’s book “The Legend of Banda Bahadur” which I reviewed (Spectrum, Dec 7) and readers Kamlesh Uppal’s letter (The Tribune, Dec 14), Daljit Singh Dhadhwal and Robin Nakai’s writeups (Chandigarh Tribune, Dec 13), and the author’s letter titled “Praise should have been in print” (Chandigarh Tribune, Dec 14). Mr Harish Dhillon would know that a reviewer’s job is to write a fair review of what he has read and not to praise or criticise when neither is merited, even while one may have liked reading portions of a book that may stand out more favourably in comparison to the rest of the text, as often happens in not only Dhillon's but any other book.

Mine is a very fair apprisal of Dhillon’s current work where the author has been given his due as also the weaker points in the hypotheses as I see them, highlighted. The fact that Dhillon has stated in his introduction that this account is a novel does not in any way absolve him of the responsibility of keeping intact, the sanctity, context and belief of a generation of the history of the times as passed down to us.

Himmat Singh Gill, Chandigarh

Making of ‘Border’

Mr M.L. Dhawan, in his write-up “Reel rewind: 1997” (Spectrum, Nov 30), has stated that J.P. Dutta’s “Border” was based on the notes scribbled on the pages of a diary of Dutta’s real brother — a fighter pilot who died in the battle of Longewala fought between India and Pakistan in 1991.

Actually, Dutta’s younger brother, a Squandron Leader in the Indian Air Force, was killed in MiG crash in 1987, and not in a battle. He had, however, fought in the Indo-Pak war of 1971. After returning from that war, he narrated his experiences to Dutta about the war which the latter recorded in a notebook. A few years after his brother’s death, Dutta chanced upon that notebook and decided to make a film on the basis of those notations. He also dedicated the movie to his late brother.

He also took inspiration from the experiences of Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri who had also participated in that war. Sunny Deol played the role of Major Chandpuri in the movie. Dutta had narrated all this in the interviews which he gave to various journals around the time “Border” was released.


Promoting music

This refers to Humra Quaraishi’s piece “Keeping our virasat alive” (Spectrum, Dec 7). Interviewing Kiran Seth, she wrote that deserving talented artists like Ustad (Rahim) Fahimuddin Khan (Dagar), Yashwant Bua Joshi, Asad Ali Khan, Gopal Krishan, Sultan Khan till date have not been awarded. This is not correct.

The highest award for a performing artiste in the field of music, dance, drama, folkarts etc, in India is that of the Sangeet Nataka Akademi which these maestros received in 1993, 2003, 1977, 1994 and 1992 respectively. This has been verified from the records.

However, it is strongly felt that the sincere and sustained contributions of Kiran Seth, the founder-organiser of SPICMACAY, in promoting and propagating Indian music and allied arts among the youth should be duly recognised by the Sangeet Natak Akademi (under its category ‘overall contribution’) as was done in the case of P.V. Subramaniam ‘Subudu’ for the year 2003.

v.k. rangra, Delhi

Of meditation

This refers to Mr Khushwant Singh’s article “The art of doing nothing” (Windows, Dec 20). Meditation is the remedy to stop jumping or roaming of the mind from one branch to another — a natural gift to the mankind. The roaming state of the mind is the main reason of many of our problems today and the cause of degeneration and degradation of our society.

Meditation is a systematic method that enables an individual to experience directly the pure state of being. It is done by consciously entering into the experience of the subtle strata of a thought and then arriving at the very source of the thought. Meditation is a way to go within one’s self to that depth where thought does not exist, mind being vacant gets solitude, solace and state of ecstasy and Sat, Chit, Anand. This is the stage where one is charged with a constructive approach to society and not its destruction. In fine, meditation is strictly a personal experience whose impact cannot be expressed or shared.

Maj B.S. PARMAR (retd), SAS Nagar


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