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All work, no play

Appropos ‘ No time to rest on laurels’ by Abhijit Chatterjee ( April 30, Saturday Extra ) , it’s a pity that Indian cricketers have become a machine. They have been playing from October last year and have not rested at all. Even now they seem to have a tight schedule till July, 2012. Too much cricket is hardly healthy for either cricket or cricketers. Indeed the schedule vetted by the BCCI has been described as ‘inhuman’ by Wasim Akram. The BCCI must keep this in mind.

Subhash C Taneja, Rohtak

The two great men

It was genuine admiration that Gandhi and Tagore felt for each other. While Tagore called Gandhi ‘Mahatma’ , the latter responded by describing the poet ‘Gurudev’. The honorifics stuck to their names. But they were also very different. Though both were patriots, Gandho wore a loincloth and an occasional cloth to cover his bare body in empathy with the poor of the country. But Tagore was mostly heavily dressed in a long gown covering his whole body. Gandhi was clean shaven while Tagore sported long hair and beard. While Gandhi preferred to live mostly in huts, Tagore liked spacious accommodation.

V.K. Rangra, Delhi

Tagore got it wrong

The article “Tagore echoes in Punjab” ( May 8 ) by Nirupama Dutt has dwelt on the impact of Gurus and Gurbani on Tagore. But in one of his stories translated by Bhabani Bhattacharya, Tagore described the death of Guru Gobind Singh while playing chess with Pathan Mahmud, who lost the game and killed the Guru. Historians can explain better but Tagore appears to have got it all wrong.

A.S. Anand, Ludhiana

On corruption

Appropos “ PM opens Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary celebrations " ( May 8 ), it is worth recalling that Tagore , pained to find evidence of corruption in Calcutta Corporation, had argued that after Independence, democracy should be put on hold. Even Subhash Chandra Bose wanted dictatorship in the country for the first thirty years. But Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru did not agree. We have seen what has happened since Independence. A strong central government, possibly a national government drawn from honest MPs from all political parties, sterner statutes and possibly retired Generals as Governors with the mandate to stamp out corruption might help.

I.P. Gandhi, Karnal

Extension of poetry

Dr B.N. Goswami in his article “ His brooding Art ” , I am afraid, arrived at the wrong conclusion even after quoting the right authorities. It is not correct to say that Tagore’s paintings were different from his poetry. In fact Tagore’s paintings were an extension of his poetry. When , at the age of sixty, Tagore felt that he was unable to express himself in poetry that he took to paintings to communicate his feelings. Indeed it was Tagore’s idea that Music, Plastic arts and Literature, because of their intrinsic connectivity, should be housed in one building. But alas, today the only thing common between the three National Akademis, although housed in the same building, is a common telephone exchange and a common canteen. The world of art is not just divided but vitiated and the situation is so bad that crime reporters have become art critics and farmers have become art historians.

K.K. Khullar, New Delhi


In “Total Confusion” by Khushwant Singh (May 7) , the writer pointed out that to some people “ all Sardarjis look alike”. Sikhs, though constituting a negligible percentage of the population, have carved out a niche for themselves by their versatility, hard work. They have also endeared themselves to others for their simplicity and zest for life. Even Tagore wrote three beautiful poems titled “ Gobind Guru”, “ Veer Guru” and “ The last lesson”. But just as all Sikhs, to some people, look alike, some Sikhs may like to argue that lord Hanuman(n) was also a Sikh like Gurdas Mann, Babbu Mann and Harbhajan Mann !

Harbans Singh, Ambala Cantt



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