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Of celluloid couples

Derek Bose, in his article, Ah, for that sizzle (Spectrum, Feb 14) has highlighted a number of filmy couples mostly of recent times, who became romantic hits on the screen. In addition to the Nargis-Raj Kapoor duo, there were many other pairs who left a mark not only on the box office but also made a place in the hearts of movie-goers.

One actor who paired with a number of heroines over two decades was Dilip Kumar, the tragedy king. Starting with Nimmi in Aan, Deedar, Amar (as second love), Uran Khatola and Daag, to pairing with Nargis in Deedar, Andaaz, Babul and Jogan, with Meena Kumari in Aazad, Yahudi and Kohinoor and later with Vyjayanthimala after a break with Madhubala during the making of Naya Daur. He did Devdas, Naya Daur, Paigham, Leader, Sangharsh, topping it all with the blockbuster Ganga-Jamuna produced by himself.

He made a successful pair with each one of them, as borne out by the popularity of these films.

One also can’t possibly forget the first onscreen and real life pair of Dev Anand and Suraiya, who acted in Vidhya, Afsar, Shahnai and a few more and were the talk of the town because of their off-screen affair.

He also made a popular pair with Nutan in Paying Guest, Baarish, Manzil and Tere Ghar Ke Samne. Bina Rai-Prem Nath also gave hits like Prisoner of Golconda, Aurat and Chengiz Khan.

Even Dara Singh had then struggling starlet Mumtaz as his heroine in Faulad, Toofan, Lutera and a few more in the sixties. Nirupa Roy-Jai Raj were a popular cinematic couple in many historical movies.

Finally, Guru Dutt-Waheeda Rehman gave a memorable performance in Chaudavin Ka Chaand and Sahib-Bibi Aur Ghulam besides films mentioned by the writer.

H.S. Sandhu,Panchkula

Lack of faith

I read Khushwant Singh’s article Devout and the holy dip (Saturday Extra, Jan 30) in which he explains that there is no justification in the fact that people’s sins are washed away as and when they take a bath in the holy sarovar.

I would like to remind the writer that it is a matter of faith if you believe in God.

There is no need time and again for the writer to say that he does not believe in religion or religious places.

Subhash c. taneja,Rohtak

Laugh lines

Jaspal Bhatti’s Sugarless lobby (Spectrum, Feb 21) was an engaging, and witty piece of writing. In his inimitable style, the writer beautifully parodied the nursery rhyme “Johny, Johny, yes papa ...” as “Oh, common man, yes pawar ...” It tickled one to hearty laughter, which has become a rare thing in this age.

The write-up was an apt dig at Union Minister Sharad Pawar, who has miserably failed to tackle the price rise issue.

tarsem s. bumrah,Batala

What needs to be done to hold the price line

I read Prem Prakash’s article “Crux of the Problem” (Feb 26). The price of essential commodities, particularly eatables, is a function of production, distribution and consumption. This formula works if market forces are allowed to operate without the external intervention of the government, i.e. commodities are not subject to administered price mechanism.

Consider sugar. Farmers started growing rice and wheat in preference to sugarcane. Consequently, sugar production came down sharply and its price began to increase. Recently, the states increased the sugarcane price to Rs 230 a quintal. The average sugar recovery is 9 per cent. Taking into account the capital, generation and overhead costs, sugar’s production cost at factory premises comes to Rs 35 a kg, unaffordable to common man.

The government is required to ensure an effective system of distribution achieving the twin objectives i.e. elimination of hoarding and middle men.

Fruits and vegetables are very costly in places like Gurgaon because the system of Apni Mandi has not been adopted and effective marketing institutions are absent. In Gurgaon, watermelons sold at Rs 12 a kg in Sonipat, are available for Rs 35 a kg. If the government is sincere to hold the price line of essential commodities, it must remove the distribution bottlenecks of the farm produce and foster the cultivation of large tracts of uncultivated land in Central India.




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