Master of melody

This is with reference to the write-up “Ode to the ghazal king” by M.L Dhawan (Spectrum, May 9). The writer deserves a pat on the back for keeping alive the memory of film artistes of yesteryear through his articles.

According to a study, many of Talat Mahmood’s fans are women, not because of his having been a film star, but because of the genre of songs that best typify him. Talat was soft, cultured and had the velvety and graceful voice of the perfect gentleman that women dream about. His songs and ghazals touched their soul even if they sometimes did not understand the meaning of the lyrics. His songs will live forever because of their melody, magic and message.

Lalita Sharma, Chandigarh


Endowed with a melodious voice, Talat brought to life the meaning of his songs. In fact, he was an inspired soul and did not need external inspiration. His music and voice were heavenly. It was nothing like the mindless cacophony that goes by the name of music these days.



Talat belongs to the class of artistes who defy death. He comes alive even today as we listen to his haunting melodies like Ay Mere Dil Kahin Aur Chal, Seene Mein Sulagte Hain Arman, etc.

K.L. Malhotra, Panchkula


I agree with the writer that now ghazals do not sound as melodious as these used to during the era of K.L. Saigal, Begum Akhtar, Mallika Pukhraj, Jagmohan, Noorjehan and Talat Mehmood. In his songs Talat distilled the pain of a lifetime.

Unfortunately, he was often replaced by other singers at the insistence of the hero of the film, or the producers or even the music directors. His song from the film Bhabi, Chal Ur Ja Re Panchhi, was recorded in the voice of Mohammed Rafi. For the song Kaisi Haseen Aaj Muraadon ki Raat Hai, he was replaced by Mahinder Kapur. Even in the case of Jalte Hain Jis ke Liye Teri Aankhon ke Diye, S.D. Burman wanted Rafi to sing but Bimal Roy stood by Talat.

Talat was not only a singer but also a popular film hero. He worked in more than a dozen films like Dil-e-Nadaan, Sone ki Chidiya, Ek Gaon ki Kahani and Waris.

M.L. Sharma, Chandigarh

Love-struck by Lahore

This refers to “Lahore: A city of hearts” by Nirupama Dutt (Spectrum, May 16). The writer has mainly dwelt on the landmarks of the city. But what really makes the city different from other cities is its culture and people.

The people from every strata of society are extremely affectionate and hospitable. They have the time to interact and talk to you and even go out of their way to make you feel at home. This is very rare as most people these days have “no time”.

The Punjabi spoken in Lahore is very sweet and courteous when compared with the same dialect spoken elsewhere in Punjab. The Punjabis of Lahore are very large-hearted.

NEELA SOOD, Chandigarh

Stem the leaks

I read with interest Smriti Kak Ramchandran’s write-up, “The great examination paper bazaar” (Windows, April 17). The writer has minutely observed the pitfalls of our examination system.

Here are a few suggestions to deal with the menace of paper leaks. First, the government must take serious actions against the culprits. Second, a centralised examination system should be put in place. If possible, entrance tests must be done away with. Third, the printing of the papers should begin only four to six hours before the examination. And finally, all those who have anything to do with the question paper must be detained and released only after the paper is well under way.


Idol worship

In his letter (The Sunday Tribune, May 16), Bhagwan Singh says that Sikhism forbids idolatory. But in the same breath he defends Sikh rituals which are performed “because of Sikh’s deep devotion to and profound reverence for the manifest body of the Guru”.

I would like to remind Singh that Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, vociferously condemned religious ritualism, which was prevalent during his time as well. Sri Asa Di War, Guru Nanak’s potent composition contained in the Guru Granth Sahib, expresses this sentiment.

BALVINDER, Chandigarh

Khurshid’s films

Apropos of the write-up by Pran Nevile (Spectrum, April 18), Khurshid got her break in Mahalaxmi Cinetone film Bomb Shell with Ishwar Lal as her hero on coming to Bombay from Calcutta in 1935.

She then worked in a number of small stunt films before her song and dance sequences became popular with such films as Mirza Sahib, Saaki, Madhur Milan and Sitara. Her films Shaadi and The Nurse proved milestones in her acting career. Before migrating to Pakistan, her last film in India was Kumar Mijjan’s Aap Beeti with Kumar and Sadiq Ali, which was released in 1948.n



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