Not an easy job
Film making is one of the toughest professions. Apart from the huge investment that is required, the suspense of success and failure hangs like a Damocles Sword. Daniel Craig is right when he says that the hardest thing about acting is not acting (“Bonding with Blomkvist”, Mini Anthikad-Chhibber, December 25). The demands of any role essayed by actors takes a complete toll on them physically and mentally. To gain weight and to shed the same in quick time is indeed a great challenge. Adapting oneself to the extreme weather conditions is another challenge. Apart from the skills that are required for an actor, various preparations to look good on screen is a mighty challenge in itself. Being talented alone will never work.
Vijay Nagaswami's “State of affairs” (December 25) covered in a nutshell almost all aspects of infidelity and the pains it can cause and beautifully suggested a remedy to avoid the pain, namely “to avoid it”. Like pick-pockets and their present day elite version, the corrupt politicians, in most cases, those who cross the “Laxmanrekha” are caught red-handed or red-lipped. One wishes the present generation weighs the pros and cons of slipping into infidelity seriously and follows Vijay Nagaswami's advice so that each individual can live a healthier, happier and peaceful life.
Culture of impunity
As Kalpana Sharma says (“You too Mumbai?” December 25), the growing culture of impunity makes women helpless victims of sexual harassment. Our law enforcement agencies lack professionalism, and when it comes to the issue of lewd comments and harassments even the police take them for granted. Therefore society can't provide women absolute safety in public places by only addressing the issue as a law and order problem. The attitude of perceiving woman as a sexual object is to be shattered. Our family set-up, our curricula, our visual media and our cinemas project woman not as an individual and a human being just as man is, but as an object created for man and inferior to man. Lewd comments and sexual harassment start from our schools in the form of eve-teasing, and when the eve- teasers grow up, it becomes sexual harassment. In our society the girls are trained to be submissive and to “suffer silently” the dirty behaviour of the other sex, while the boys are trained to be aggressive and their aggressiveness is praised even when it violates the freedom of a girl to walk freely through the street.
I was surprised reading the article. My connection with Mumbai goes back to 1963. I have seen ladies and children travelling without any fear even during night. Nobody attacked them in the buses or the trains. Even comments from passersby was unknown. I wonder when the change began. If Mumbai is like this, one can imagine the fate of girls in other towns and cities. It is necessary to conduct a detailed enquiry to find out the reasons and take corrective action
P.V. Antony Pullen
Having spent my childhood, teen years and youth in Mumbai from the 1960s to the 80s, one thing I can categorically and proudly say is that the city taught me and all the women of my age group to be independent, bold and fearless. We could move around the city with more confidence and a feeling of security compared to any other city in India. I am extremely shocked now to find how unsafe and insecure Mumbai has become for women. Instead of waiting for the government to take action in this regard, the women themselves should become more vociferous and stage protests in various ways. To shy away from such harassments will only pave the way for more problems.
The article “I don't have cancer” by Vatsala Vedantam (December 25), describing the easy, calm and nonchalant way in which the septuagenarian confronted the deadly disease of cancer that suddenly descended on him is as admirable and laudable as it is poignant and pathetic. But, not many victims of this malignant malady could — and would — react in this sang-froid manner. I had to cry over the very painful demise of an intimate friend afflicted by terminal cancer. It was not over his inevitable quietus that I shed bitter tears but over the ignominious way of his lingering exit and the degradation of the spirit.
Vatsala Vedantam's account of her husband's struggle with cancer is a glowing example of absolute will power, courage and fortitude. It's also a lesson for the scores of hypochondriacs (including yours truly) who shiver at the very mention of cancer and battling it. May the brave soul rest in peace.
Professor, Dept. of History
Kumaun University, Nainital
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