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Ghazals forever

While Ghazals are going down the popularity charts 
('The fading notes', July 24), it would be unfair to put the blame on technology and synthesizers. Electric guitars and synthesizers have brought in much-needed freshness and need not be shunned. The fact is that the Ghazal has never been the choice of the masses. In the past too, Ghazal was lapped up by a niche audience with a distinctive preference for not just the music but also the melody and lyrics. It was never meant only for the ears but also for the hearts. That is why, the spoof on Ghazals in the film, " Delhi Belly", need not be taken so seriously.

Sanjeev Trikha, Fatehabad

Born to fly

Apropos Khushwant Singh's 'Born to fly' ( May 28 ). The word 'aviation' is a gift from birds to humanity. Birds inspired the Wright Brothers to fly and invent the aeroplane. Birds have enjoyed an enduring relationship with human beings and should have the right to stay in homes, which give them shelter, food and company.

But a word of caution. A bird lover died recently because of ' Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis' (ABPA) caused by an allergy to bird droppings. The fungus that causes the infection is harboured by these droppings.

Harbans Singh, Ambala Cantt

Revise ceiling

Iwas shocked to read "A cruel joke on the poor" ( Pushp M Bhargava, June 19). The criteria adopted for identifying people below the poverty level is like rubbing salt on the wounds of the poor. The sum of Rs 20/- per person per day cannot even pay for two square meals in urban areas. The government must accept a more reasonable and less absurd ceiling.

Mulkh Raj Ahuja, Mohali

Premchand in Pak

Appropos Sanjeev Gandhi's review " Panoramic prose" ( July 31, Spectrum), Prem Chand was possibly the first writer of short stories, who clearly delineated the rural people's mode of life and the plight of poor peasants, labourers and members of low castes affected by famine and exploited by callous officials, big zamindars and usurers. He wrote in plain, straightforward language embellished with appropriate similes and metaphors. Few could write such chaste Urdu as him and he continues to be popular in Pakistan, where his works are taught up to postgraduate classes.

Bhagwan Singh, Qadian

Poor cricket

‘Second Chance’ by Abhijeet Chatterjee ( July 30) was a thought-provoking piece. The abject surrender in England by the Indian cricket team, specially in the Lord's test, was indeed pathetic. Few would have expected such display from the top-ranking Test side. It was even more puzzling to see Sachin Tendulkar failing on both the innings. He usually gives his best at such adverse times.

Subhash C. Taneja, Rohtak

Second fiddle

Major General G.G. Dwivedi (retd) gave us a glimpse of the bullet train service between Beijing and Shanghai ( July 31). It served to reinforce the impression that China is so far ahead of us and not just in Railway services. Leave out other areas, China has been far more successful in checking its population growth as well. When will our politicians at the helm of the nation learn to redeem the trust reposed by the people ?

S.S. Gyani, Mohali



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