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An example worthy of emulation

Usha Rai’s article “Where faith unites” (Spectrum, Dec 14) was interesting and informative. India is a vast country having different ethnic groups and regional variations. And at time these wide differences seem to predominate and communal and religious disharmony is considered as an incurable syndrome with which we have to endure.

But this has been magnificently defied and proved wrong by the Abu Baba Religious and Festival Mission Trust, which is doing a lot of good work in promoting and fostering communal harmony and secularism.



Abu Roti, the service of providing free meal to the poor and the needy is a laudable attempt to provide nutrition to the poor. Besides the trust is doing a fantabulous job in the field of education and health, too. The praiseworthy work that the trust is doing ought to be emulated by many other trusts operating in the country.

No religion preaches hatred; rather every religion is a source of moral and spiritual values. It is these so-called protagonists and pseudo-politicians who exploit the sentiments of the gullible.


Music as medicine

Senior psychiatrist Dr. Bijoy Sengupta has rightly commented that music has healing powers and can alter moods (“Music’s healing touch”, Spectrum, Jan 4).

In India, saint musician Thyagaraja is said to have brought a dead person back to life with Bilahari raaga, and Muthuswamy Dikshitar cured stomach aches with his Navagraha Kritis. In our own times Pt Omkarnath Thakur is said to have cured Mussolini of his insomnia with a song.

Music is believed to affect the mood and physiological functions of a person. Music therapy has positive application in childbirth, pain management and stress reduction. The aged, prisoners, drug abusers and the mentally ill have reportedly benefited from the use of music therapy.

Ambient music not only helps to de-stress but also regulates breathing. It triggers the production of happy chemicals such as serotonin in the body. Another chemical tryptophan helps in inducing sleep, calming anxiety and relieving depression. The other benefits of music are: lowering of blood pressure, boosting immunity, and easing muscle tension.

The Raga Research Centre in Chennai has found that raga Anandabhairavi helps in relieving hypertension, whereas raga Shankarabharnam is useful for the mentally ill. Some music therapy practitioners are also spiritual healers. Ganapati Sachidananda Swamy of Mysore has developed his own healing system — Nadachikitsa — using ragas. According to him, raga Nilambari cures insomnia and raga Shri indigestion.

V.K. RANGRA, Delhi

Mozart of Madras

Man with the Golden Globe” (Spectrum, Jan 25) is a great tribute to A.R Rahman, who has rightly been called the “Mozart of Madras” by Time magazine. Slumdog Millionaire won four Golden Globe awards, including one for Rahman, who is one of India’s most prolific music directors.

Rahman represents a break from the past in more ways than one, as he composes across genres, from pop to rousing anthems and semi-classical tunes and that is why his impact on Indian popular music has been tremendous.

The life story of Rahman and his struggle to reach the dizzy heights of fame with the Golden Globe award and an Oscar within his reach is nothing less than a thriller.

Things changed for Rahman and for Indian music, too, when in 1991 he was introduced to Mani Ratnam after winning a prize for best ad jingle for Leo Coffee. Mani Ratnam was so impressed with his talent that he gave hin a break in his film Roja. After Roja there has been no looking back for Rahman and now I hope with the best wishes of all the Indians, an Oscar Award, too, is within his reach. n

Dr VITULL K. GUPTA, Bathinda

Test of Superman

Barrack Hussein Obama (“Hope from the Superman”, Spectrum, Dec 7) has generated new hope in economically battered, and war-weary America. In the days to come Obama would be required to rise much above elevating rhetoric and pleasing cadence.

Americans expect him to deliver on economy and bring back troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, and yet maintain America’s dominance in the world.

But at the same time Americans would do well to remember that the Superman is a mythical figure. Even Abraham Lincoln fell to an assassin’s bullets since he could not meet everyone’s expectations. Here is wishing all success and glory to the new President.




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