Letters from Readers
Happy Valentine's Day!
No need for parochialism
I must commend your December editorial (“When Parochialisms Collide”). It would have been easy enough, and well justified, to simply call the reader’s attention to the small-mindedness of a Kentucky senator’s remarks deriding Governor Beshear’s participation in a Hindu groundbreaking ceremony there. I’m certain many have since made their views known about Senator Williams’s intolerant declarations about non-Christians. (I have requested confirmation from the senator and the Kentucky state convention and visitors’ bureaus.) However, it is most interesting that you chose to examine the issue from a higher plane and include the possible side effects of Hindu parochialism, as well. Non-Hindu boredom with incomprehensible and lengthy orthodox ceremonies may indeed be a little over-the-top for such gatherings. In other words, a more enlightened approach to such events might be to simply lighten up!
===========================A tribute to Dr. Bhupen Hazarika
A regular introduction to fellow Indians starts like this: “We are from Assam.” “Where?” “The place where Dr. Bhupen Hazarika was born.” “Oh, yes. I know where that is.” Dr. Bhupen Hazarika died November 5 due to multiple organ failures. Some of his relatives include his son Tezu, who resides in New York, and his ex-wife Priyamvada M. Patel. His final days were spent with his long-time companion Kalpana Lajmi.
Dr. Hazarika was a lyricist, composer, writer, poet, singer, director, and producer. He is also the recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Padma Sri, the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award, the Sangeet Natak Academy award, and many others for his brilliant masterpieces. Some of his best compositions were in the movies Chameli Memsaab, Aparoopa, Rudaali, Ek Pal, Gaja Gamini, Daman, and his last movie, Gandhi to Hitler.
Among his famous songs that will always remain on our lips are “Dil hoom hoom kare,” “Ganga behti ho kiu,” “Bistirna dupare,” “Hey dola hey dola,” “Ami ek jajabor,” and many more that will always be enjoyed by the future generations. Every song of his gives us goose bumps and feelings of joy. His voice itself was heavenly and can be heard over and over. His songs are a source of inspiration and touch the hearts of every individual. One can keep writing and continue to extol his glorious accomplishments.
Assam has indeed lost a son that, when remembered, will bring tears to every individual. He was laid to rest in Guwahati (Assam), on the banks of the Brahmaputra River. Assam will have to wait for another Bhupen Hazarika to be born, in order to fill the vacuum he has left behind.Sabita M. Das
========================India’s postal service nothing to write home about
During the past two decades India may have made tremendous progress in technology,
but its postal service has seen none of that progress. In fact, the service in this area has regressed.
(1) While most advanced countries in the world have replaced “lick-n-stick” stamps with no-lick (self-adhesive) stamps, India has removed the glue altogether from the back of its stamps. When I asked a postal
clerk about this during my recent visit, he told me that because of the poor quality of glue used, glued sheets of stamps often stuck to each other, and so stamps were now being sold with no glue.
(2) Most advanced countries in the world issue multi-colored stamps on glossy papers that attract many philatelists; but India issues them on newsprint-type paper in mostly single colors that very few collectors want.
(3) Most advanced countries use ZIP codes effectively, thereby eliminating long addresses. While other countries use three-line addresses, Indian addresses run at least five lines long.
(4) Advanced countries sort mail using automatic machines (OCR readers that read bar codes), while post
offices in India still use hand-stamps and sort mail manually.
(5) The U.S. Postal Service has exclusive rights to handle First Class and Priority Mail, but in India private
couriers handle regular mail better than post offices. As an example, in India electricity bills are delivered
by private couriers.
(6) In the U. S. we use certified mail if we want signature confirmation, but in India they still use Registered Mail for sending important documents that need signatures.
(7) Most Americans use “click-n-ship” online services provided by the U.S. Postal Service, but in India one needs to visit the post office to buy stamps.
(8) Most advanced countries in recent years have started stamps with no denominations (called Forever stamps), while India still issues stamps with denominations.
(9) In America a “money order” is like a bank check/draft, but in India the money order is still delivered the old-fashioned way, with the postman bringing money in cash.
I suggest that you check these details out when you visit India next.Manju Ghosh
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