L E T T E R S    T O    T H E    E D I T O R

Befitting tribute to Lata

Lata’s tribute to the Gurus” by Khushwant Singh (Saturday Extra, June 6) is indeed a rich and befitting tribute to the melody queen. The fact that she refused to accept the fee after recording ‘Gurbani’ reveals that she not only has a golden voice but a golden heart too. Honours like Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan and Bharat Ratna (2001), make her the most decorated Indian woman.

Her moving melodies like Naina barse rim jhim, rim jhim, Who jab yaad aaye, bahut-yaad aaye and Tu jahan jahan chalega mera saya saath hoga are immortal. The song Aye mere vatan ke logo zara aankh mein bhar lo paani brought tears in Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s eyes. She is a living legend. In film industry they say that “Lata Mangeshkar does not follow music, music follows her”.

“Honour for Kaka” (Spectrum, June 14) has accurately traced Rajesh Khanna’s film career. He, no doubt, is a talented actor who gave several sterling performances.

He had average looks and height. Many times he had to wear shoes, fitted with “pads” to add some inches to his height to match with tall heroines. He gave a new dimension to the image of a romantic hero in Hindi films.

Such was the impact of Aradhana that many girls wrote love-letters to him in their blood. Young boys started sporting folded handkerchiefs on their foreheads, which Rajesh Khanna used as a bandage in Dushman. He made “kurta-pant” combination popular among youth.



Khushwant Singh (Saturday Extra, June 6) rightly bemoans the fact that Lata’s sister Asha Bhosle has not got justice either at the hands of the author (Nasreen Munni Kabir) or the government. Asha, too, deserved the highest civilian award — Bharat Ratna.

Another singer, who has also not got her due, is Anuradha Paudwal. Lata reportedly threatened to boycott the producers/directors who signed Paudwal. As a result, Paudwal had got relegated to singing bhajans till T-series’ boss Gulshan Kumar brought her talent to the fore, but after his death she is once again lost in the oblivion.

D.K. AGGARWALA, Hoshiarpur

Not racists?

I do not agree with the view in “Australians are not racists” (Saturday Extra, June 13). It does not behove the Australian people to treat guests in this manner.

After seeing this behaviour towards Indians in Australia, other countries are also doing the same that must be condemned by all right-thinking people.


Man of the moment

K L. Zakir (Spectrum, June 28) deserves to be called Fakhr-e-Urdu for his sterling and copious contribution in promoting the Urdu literature. His literary odyssey commenced in the early 1940s, when his first ghazal was published in Adabi Duniya of Lahore. Later, he joined the galaxy of eminent short story writers, when his short story appeared in Humayun, a distinguished magazine of those days.

With over 120 novels, short stories, travelogues and other literary oeuvres under his belt, and a literary journey of over six decades to his credit, he has in fact evolved into a sort of literary institution. His literary achievements have brought him laurels and awards, such as the Ghalib Award, Nehru Literacy Award, and Urdu Sahitya Award, besides Pakistan’s Nuqoosh Award.

Explaining the themes and characters of his novels and short stories, Zakir himself says that in his life, he has given importance to moments, and these, in turn, have given him themes for many of his stories, which came bubbling alive on the spur of the moment.

In his short story Toote Hue Rishton Ki Kirchian (in Chinar Chinar Chehre), he says that some particular, fleeting moment leaves behind such a spark that human heart keeps burning for ages. Zakir’s own life, besides his literary works, seem to declare that it is the completeness, the fullness, the absoluteness that matters in life.

He has the ability to see a character completely. Zakir’s anecdotal style and simple language impose a unity of tone on his subject matter.




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