Majrooh made ghazals,
film songs richer

This refers to Khushwant Singh’s appreciation of Majrooh Sultanpuri’s love poetry in “This Above All,” (Saturday Extra, Jan 29). Majrooh Sultanpuri (1919-2000) did not write many ghazals but compiled a collection titled Ghazal. Along with Jazbi, Majrooh gave the Urdu ghazal a freshness and manoeuvrability of diction at a critical time in the history of the ghazal. Nazm writers like Chakbast, with his patriotic poems and Josh, with his revolutionary poems, seldom ventured into the form because they found it short and narrow. The nazm had come with such a bang that, for a short time, it seemed to have drowned the voice of the ghazal. Progressive writers such as Majaz, Jazbi, Majrooh Sultanpuri and Arib re-established the ghazal’s relevance until it attained its fullness in Firaq and Faiz. The following couplet of Majrooh’s is ever-green: Main akela hi chala tha Janib-e-manzil magar/Log saath aatey gaey aur karvaan banta gaya (I had started all alone towards the goal but/people kept pouring in and swelled into a caravan).

Majrooh also wrote for films for half a century. His first immortal love song, Chah barbaad karegi, from Kardar’s Shahjehan, was composed by Naushad. While singing it, K.L. Saigal poured out his heart.

Lata sang a Majrooh song (Uthaey ja unke sitam) for this film in her inimitable voice. Majrooh had also written for Sujata (Sun mere bandhu re and Jaltey hain jiskey liye). He kept writing love songs for a number of films, notable among them were Jewel Thief, Nau Do Gyarah, Bombai Ka Babu, Dr Vidya, Aar Paar, CID, Mr and Mrs 55, Mere Sanam, Tum Sa Nahin Dekha, Mujrim, Baaz, Pakeezah, Qyamat Se Qyamat Tak and many more. He had the ability to write situational songs and brought social and political awareness into the romantic Urdu ghazal. With a range that was incredible, Majrooh made film music richer and meaningful.

Deepak Tandon, Panchkula



Property rights

Apropos of J.S. Toor’s article “Property rights for daughters: Much more needs to be done” (Perspective, Jan 16), the writer has illustrated well his point on the right of daughters in the coparcenary property given to them in the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

In a joint Hindu family of five members consisting of the Karta, his wife, two sons and a daughter, the latter has no share in the coparcenary property at the time of demise of the Karta, the other four including the demised Karta each has 25 per cent shares in it.

Further, after the demise of the Karta, his share in the property i.e. (25 per cent) goes to the widow, the two sons and the daughter in equal shares i.e. ¼ of 25 per cent = 6.25 per cent each one (First Schedule of Section 30 of the Hindu Succession Act). Finally, out of four, each gets as follows: The widow and the two sons, 25 per cent + 6.25 per cent = 31.25 per cent each and 93.75 per cent the three together. The rest 6.25 per cent goes to the daughter, not 5.5 per cent as mentioned.

BALDEV SINGH KANG, Advocate, Bassi Pathanan (Fatehgarh Sahib)

Social conscience

This refers to “Tata Titan” by Sailesh Kottary. The founder of the group, Jamshedji N. Tata had said that “In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stakeholder in business but is in fact the very purpose of its existence.” This speaks volumes for the social conscience of the founder.

In the present age of LPG, that is liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation, society expects more social responsibility from the Tata group and the present Chairman Ratan N. Tata

Om Parkash Wadhwa, Gohana

Sound of silence

Apropos of Khushwant Singh’s write-up, “Meditation” (Saturday Extra, Jan 15), it makes no difference whether the writer admits the indispensability of meditation in life or not. It is a universal truth that the sound of silence is the only panacea for a disturbed mind. That is why silence is the core, the essence of all religions.

In today’s complex world, the struggle for existence has become more painful than before. Nothing is simple any more, even taking a bus or train to work is fraught with tension. Amidst such daily struggles, one is not far off the mark if one were to think we are all Arjunas geared up for the battle of life. In this battle, mind is a major cause of our discomforts. That is why equanimity of mind is essential in life. To achieve this stage, one has to go through the hard practice of meditation because meditation is not a mechanical activity.

The greatest irony of life is that everyone knows that silence is healing and noise is destructive but it appears that silence is something we do not want. How else do we account for all-night jagrans, wedding bands with eight amplifiers and frequent blowing of pressure horns on the roads?

P.L. Sethi, Patiala

Hasrat Mohani

This refers to Khushwant Singh’s write-up, “Hasrat Mohani” (Saturday Extra, Jan 22). Hasrat was a great poet, writer and literary critic brimming with patriotic fervour.

He cheerfully underwent the rigours of incarceration in connection with the struggle for freedom and declared: Hai nashq-e-sukhan jaari chakki kee mashaqqat bhee/Ik turfa tamaasha hai Hasrat kee tabiat bhee. (Hasrat has a wonderful temperament. He writes verses while grinding grain with a quera — as a penal servitude). Hasrat was not only fearless but also had the courage of his conviction.

He was the first Muslim leader of the Swadeshi movement to advocate the boycott of British goods. Once he visited a famous Islamic scholar and litterateur, Syed Suleman Nadavi. The bedding provided to him included a blanket with a ‘Made in England’ label. Hasrat shivered with cold throughout the wintry night but refused to use the vilayati kambal.

Bhagwan Singh, Qadian

Vishnu Prabhakar: Gandhian and prolific writer

This refers to Harihar Swarup’s profile column captioned “His works portray the harsh realities of life” (Sunday Oped, Feb 6). The writer has made an apt evaluation that Vishnu Prabhakar’s stature has grown much higher than the Padma Bhusan award conferred on him. He is a Gandhian and a prolific writer. He has seen various phases of history, turbulence of 20th century with two World Wars, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the rise and fall of Communism. All these events are truly reflected in his works.

Besides, he has a tender heart full of “milk of human kindness” and this is visible in the characters of his short stories, novels and plays. These are so real, so moving, depicting the harsh realities of life. Such is the impact of his novels that once a reader picks any one, he would read it till it is finished. He is one of the few Hindi writers whose works are translated in English. This is another feather in his cap.

So strong was the creative urge in him that he left the job and ultimately became a full-time writer. He edited 60 books and helped in the publication of many literary journals. Though 93 years of age, he is fit and mentally alert. His pen continues to flow. A great writer indeed!

R.C. SHARMA, Kurukshetra


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