The Oscar game
This is with reference to Ranjan Das Gupta's “Oscar is the Game” (March 7) and his remarks along with that of Sir Richard Attenborough's about Oscar and war films. Both of them have not mentioned anything about Sir David Lean's “The Bridge on The River Kwai” ; one of the greatest war films ever made. If I am not mistaken, it had won a number of Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director for David Lean, Best Actor for Sir Alec Guinness etc. It also featured some of the Hollywood greats like William Holden and Jack Hawkins.
Col. MNS Thampi ( Retd )
This has reference to the article “New equations in the work place” by Vijay Nagaswami (March, 7). Sexual abuse and harassment are the major threats to working women irrespective of their position, whether one is a middle level executive or a stenographer. Sexual abuse has enough scope to prove, but, harassment often lacks evidence. It is the responsibility of the management to protect the honour of their women staff. Regulations prohibiting women to stay back after office hours, asking them to come for duty on holidays on the pretext of urgency, avoidance of night shift and proper safety measures if night shift is unavoidable will help to eliminate or reduce harassment.
This is with reference to the article “What's in a name?” by Kalpana Sharma (March 7). We are living in the 21st century and celebrating the 100th anniversary of International Women's day but it is very disheartening to know that women in our society are still not free to decide their identity. It is being traditionally imposed on them to change their surname after they get married and if divorced then give up the existing surname. The writer is absolutely right in saying that women are equal human beings with the same rights as men. Then why is it that only women have to carry the burden of changing the surname? Being a woman I must say that the need of hour is to boycott such patriarchal things which infringe on identity of women. Is carrying no surname in anyway inferior to those who carry this burden? I must say here, what's in a surname?
Restoring our rivers
The article “River reverie” by Shankar Raman (Magazine, March 7) narrates the contribution of our mighty rivers to our culture and wealth down the years. We, in return, thanklessly disregard the contribution and treat them as dump yards. Consequently, the water that they carry becomes highly polluted and unusable. Excessive human interference has resulted in untimely death of most of the rivers and the population explosion can be regarded as one of the key elements for this precarious development. Unless meaningful efforts are made to safeguard these rivers it will have disastrous results for humankind and Nature itself.
The lyrical beauty of the author's narration of the river's journey through forested hills and plains has filled me with a sense of serenity that one would actually experience following its course along the banks or on the boat. By his picturesque delineation the author has brought to life an unknown river.
R. Krithika's article on Kathalaya and its founder Geeta Ramanujam (Once upon a time, March 7) is a tribute to the rapidly fading art of storytelling. Geeta Ramanujam's life story is indeed inspiring and rekindles one's childhood memories. From the passions evoked by the age old Grandma's bedtime tales, Geeta has transformed storytelling through an art form into, possibly, a science, with its infinitesimal dimensions. Today's children are indeed unfortunate that fast life and technology have interfered with their access to one of the most potent sources of entertainment and learning. Hand-held miniature video game devices have replaced bedtime story books and even more important, quality storytelling time spent with parents and grandparents. It is encouraging to see a renewed interest and revival of this dying art form. Internationally too, conferences on storytelling are being held frequently and storytelling festivals are gaining tremendous popularity with enlightened adult audiences amongst children. Geeta Ramanujam's efforts will go a long way in furthering the cause of entertainment, interpersonal communication, and personal development of children as well as adults.
Dr. Sunil P Shenoy