How to remain young in old age

Khushwant Singh’s “Old men’s tale” (Saturday Extra, Aug 28) reminded me of a couplet by Mela Ram Vafa: Sau aarizon ka aariza hai saal-khurdagi/Umar-e-daraas naam hai marg-e-daraaz ka (Old age is the worst of all diseases. Long life is a lingering death). He was 86 when he died.

Physical weakness, mental impairment, decline in hearing and sight and some other afflictions are the result of old age. Some old people always cling to the past instead of taking in impressions from the present and they become fastidious. On the other hand, lively and enterprising persons can remain youthful even in old age. They cheerfully face the problems of ageing.


Troubled truth

This refers to Khushwant Singh’s “Trouble with the truth” (Saturday Extra, Aug 28). In the last lines of this column, the writer has asked what Satyamev Jayate means. It means that truth always triumphs. In real life, it is honesty and truth that get paid.



The names of Guru Nanak and Mahatma Gandhi are mentioned in this column because their lives were based on truth. No one would want to know about the names of dishonest and untruthful people from the past.

PREET RANJAN, Ferozepore city

Mystique Sholay

V.Gangadhar, in his write-up “Sholay still sets the screen ablaze” (Spectrum, Aug 29), states that when Sholay was first released at the Minerva theatre in Mumbai, for five years there was no current booking. This is incorrect. Had there been an advance booking for five years, the movie would not have been withdrawn from the theatre at that stage.

The fact is that there was advance booking of tickets for 76 weeks when it ran in regular shows at the aforementioned theatre. The movie ran in regular shows for about three years from Aug 15, 1975, to Aug 31, 1978, (some 10 weeks of this period were lost because of a strike at the cinema hall).

When the movie was shifted to morning shows, tickets were again sold in advance, a phenomenon which continued for about three months.


Need to maintain high standards of journalism

This has reference to Mohanmeet Khosla’s thought-provoking article “Media and society: Who wins the blame game?" (Perspective, Sept 12). No doubt, the media, especially the print media, played a missionary role after Independence in informing, educating and entertaining the Indian masses in the desired direction. Indeed, journalism was regarded as the voice of the voiceless.

What has happened to the print media? Except a few national dailies and periodicals, the vernaculars at the regional or local levels have fallen a prey to market forces. They have almost stopped catering to the needs of a developing society. Instead, they have started blunting the creative thoughts of the people by indulging in ‘yellow journalism’.

Many vernacular newspapers have appointed semi-literate persons as their reporters who know little about journalism. The owners of the newspapers are concerned only with the number of advertisements sent by the reporters, some of whom sometimes never shirk to blackmail an officer, individual or institution. It is a shame that some reporters even act as power brokers in various government offices or police stations.

How can this malice on the part of certain newspapers be stopped? Can the ‘choice’ on the part of the readers is a sufficient solution? I think some suitable norms should be evolved. The intelligentsia should take the moral responsibility to oppose and expose the mischievous designs of these people in journalism.

The Press Council of India should play a pro-active role to maintain the high standards of journalism. I heartily appreciate The Tribune for its constructive and humanistic approach in journalism.



Right to question

Apropos of Khushwant Singh’s article “The power of doubt” (Saturday Extra, Sept 4), we all have a right to question even “gospel truth”. Unless we question, there will be no fresh thinking and no further improvement. As a student, if I don’t ask questions from my teacher, even he/she may not come well prepared to the class. So, it is important to think and question with logic.

These days most people like to toe the line either due to the fear of consequences or to please their bosses. Courage of conviction is disappearing. For a strong and powerful India, we need people who are not afraid of speaking the truth.

ANIKET SINGH, Ambala Cantt

Reality films

This refers to Saibal Chatterjee’s “Windows to reality” (Spectrum, September 5), on the week-long festival on documentaries in New Delhi. I had attended this international festival of documentary and reality films. The films screened in this festival showed the growing richness and dynamism of this genre of films.

Documentary film Ek Aakash by young filmmaker Sudhakar Reddy of Film and TV Institute of India and produced by UNESCO is a youthful take on humanity and conflict.

The film, which won the Special Jury Award in the 51st National Awards, is a short-fiction on communal harmony which shows that the universal language of love does not need to be translated into words and projects a metaphorical approach to resolving conflict. The movie had no dialogues and communicates through expressions only. Such films should be shown to wider audiences, especially students.


Sex and reality

This refers to the Urdu short story that Reeta Sharma mentions in her column, “Don’t moralise, make it legal” (Saturday Extra, September 4). The story Nagar Palika in Hindi has not been penned by Sadat Hasan Manto as mentioned in the article.

This story is Aanadi written by Ghulam Abbas. The film Mandi by Shyam Benegal is supposed to have been inspired by this story.


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