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Get well, Khushwant

The notice, " Khushwant Singh is not well. His column will now appear only after further notice" ( Saturday Extra, October 1) would have upset most of the readers. The pullout would lose much of its sheen without the eminent writer's column. It will never be the same without the column. I am sure all readers would join me in praying for a speedy recovery and a very, very long life for the inimitable Sardar.

Tara Chand, Ambuta ( Una)

Hobbies & work

Appropos S.D. Sharma's article on hobbies ( Spectrum, September 4). Pursuing a hobby different from one's occupation is not really an exception. While occupation provides the livelihood, hobbies are to indulge one's passion. But even passion at times can be productive. They undoubtedly help overcome pressures and dissatisfaction at work. Einstein played the violin. Leonardo da Vinci was a great painter, musician, writer, scientist, medico, engineer, poet and what not. While some while away their spare time, others spend money to spend time so as to derive pleasure.

HS Dimple, Jagraon

Gandhi discovered

Appropos Minna Zutshi's forceful argument that Mahatama Gandhi is "being rediscovered in his own country"( Spectrum, October 2), Gandhi never quite lost his relevance in our large country. Gandhian principles and agitational strategies continue to be popular while his commitment to 'Non-violence' continues to inspire people all over the world. It is an irony that he lost his life to an assassin's bullet. But most of our politicians seem to ritually remember the Mahatma on October 2 every year. Simplicity, austerity and integrity have been discarded by the present-day Neros as they shamelessly plunder the state exchequer. No wonder the common man no longer trusts the politicians.

Dr Raj Bahadur Yadav, Fatehabad





II

On 2nd October, it was the 142nd birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation Mohandas Karanchand Gandhi. This day is also observed as the International Non-violence Day. But while Bapu continues to inspire people across the world, it remains an enigma why the Nobel Peace Prize was never conferred on him.

Raj Kumar via email

Ram & Ravan

Appropos Deepa Karmalkar's article (No room for mythology, Spectrum September 25), while it is true that sleaze, sex and crime have become the staple of directors in Bollywood, mythology continues to draw filmmakers.

Mani Ratnam's 'Roja' is actually the tale of Savitri wanting her husband's life back from Yama. Kamal Haasan's attempt in Dasavatharam was to question blind faith in God. The anti-colonial discourse promoted by mythology saw a change after independence. "Cinema in the South took to mythology and here the agenda was 'regional identity'.Today, in its televisual avatar, the genre is used to mobilise Hindu ideology.

Filmmakers seldom moved away from the templates and archetypes created by mythology. So the hero was mostly a representation of the ideal man Ram or the manipulative Krishna. The inspiration for the heroine came directly from the image of Ram's dutiful wife, Sita- an embodiment of purity, compassion and sacrifice. Films like Raajneeti and Raavan are adapted from our great epics, Mahabharata and Ramayana respectively. One would actually think that there's a certain revival of interest in mythological themes.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana





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