Registered with the Registrar of Newspapers for India under R.N.I 53640/91

Vol. XXX No. 8, August 16-31, 2020

Our Reader’s Write

The unsung heroes of Tennis

Pratab Ramchand has rightly brought out the greatness of Leander Paes and his intimate tidings with Chennai, the then Madras (MM, July 16, 2020). He has bagged 54 ATP Tour doubles titles and 18 Grand Slam doubles titles, unmatched by anyone in Indian tennis. It is not an easy feat. It evidences the amount of hard work he has put in, his perseverance and the ‘come what may, I will achieve’ attitude that has crowned him with this success.

As someone who has closely watched the growth of the Amritraj brothers in their early grooming days of tennis, and as one of their teachers in Loyola College, I used to closely follow the way they excelled in their matches in the international arena with awe and happiness as a tennis fan too. Later, I continued to do this with young Leander and Mahesh and have enjoyed their games on the tennis field.

I have only one grouse – our tennis stars, including Leander, have not been recognised by our government to the extent they should have been for their excellent performance, like the way our heroes of cricket have been honoured. They should have been decorated more, as tennis is a game of individual performance or at the most of that of just two, while games like cricket are of collective performance.

Even now it is not too late. Are the concerned people listening?

Tharcius S. Fernando
10, First Street, AVM Nagar
Virugambakkam, Chennai 600 092


Better half

I am happy that MMM now has a co-contributor, that too a (Wo)MMM, to write the fortnightly column Short n Snappy, though many readers like me may wonder whether every item therein is really s and s.

Be that as it may – I don’t know whether the English people use this phrase any longer but unfortunately they left it behind them here in Bharat, and those who had even a smidgen of education before they left our country lock, stock and barrel, still stick to it like a limpet. BTW, I have the faintest idea as to what they carried in that barrel. Where was I?
Ah yes, in her column, (Wo)MMM mentions that once she had to “eat her words” (how did they taste? Can I have a plateful, please?) when she was having an argument with the better half on some issue (not children, anyway, I am relieved to learn). Now, in our country, it is usually the men who concede the ‘better’ status in the neatly apportioned fifty-fifty parts of the sacred union to the sagadharmini or the dharmapatni or the lady. Here is our (Wo)MMM graciously referring to her husband as the better half. There lies a great secret for successful marriage, I guess, each partner conceding the honour to the other.

C.G. Rishikesh
A5, Madhurmia
32, Conran Smith Road
Gopalapuram Chennai 600086


Thought process of Senior Citizens in Covid Time

Several scholars around the world have unambiguously pointed out that humanity is the same all over the world, irrespective of the regions in which people live. This implies that under similar circumstances, people around the world react almost in the same way. The present ongoing COVID crisis has proved this contention beyond doubt.

All over the world, people belonging to the younger generation generally think that they still have a long period to live and are, therefore, focused on improving their career and business prospects, acquiring wealth, bringing up the family and seeking pleasure. Though they are aware of the fact that the end of life would inevitably happen, they mostly assume that such an end day is far off and they need not be concerned at the present time.

However, the thought process of aged people is markedly different from those of the younger ones, as the people passing through old age are glaringly aware that their end day may not be far off, even though they too are tempted to think or conveniently assume that such day would be some time away.

The present COVID crisis has brought about a significant change in the thought process, particularly of the senior people who are constantly made to think that their end day could be not too far off. This is particularly due to the fact that the medical professionals say that immunity level of the individuals is the best barrier for the COVID virus and it is known that the immunity level of aged people is inevitably low.

In such circumstances, the senior citizens are undergoing mental stress. Every time they sneeze or cough or get a sore throat or slight feverish feeling, they start worrying as to whether the virus has attacked them. Not only the senior citizens but even the younger ones who see the senior citizens sneezing or coughing conclude that they could be COVID patients.

Now, in several places, governments insist that the day-to-day testing of the people is necessary to ensure that they are not COVID patients. In some places, the government sponsored volunteers visit every house every day and ask the inmates, particularly the senior citizens, to undergo a temperature check up with the instrument that the volunteer carries. It is pathetic to see the senior citizens subjecting themselves to such tests by semi-educated volunteers and shivering as to what would be the results and heave a sigh of great relief when they are told that the temperature is normal.

Added to this, the statement released by the governments every day on the COVID scenario not only indicate the number of people who died due to COVID but also reveal the age groups to which they belong and state the percentage of people who are senior citizens. One gets an impression that the government appears to lay stress that amongst those who die, the senior citizens form a big chunk of them, which certainly creates a sense of fear amongst senior citizens.

The advocacy of the government that senior citizens should particularly take care of their health conditions and confine themselves to the home throughout the day and all day long, clearly conveys the view of the medical practitioners and government that senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to COVID virus, much more than the younger people.

These days, many senior citizens live alone with their dear and near ones living in other cities or abroad. With travel severely curtailed internationally and even within the nation and cities, senior citizens are helplessly conscious of the fact and are worried that they would not be able to see their dear and near ones and neither the near and dear ones can see them, in case they would become victim of COVID virus or are hospitalised due to COVID attack.

While several sections of the people are suffering due to joblessness, loss of income and such matters are much discussed, the plight of the senior citizens who undergo the mental crisis due to COVID 19 does not seem to have been adequately understood or appreciated or discussed.

N.S. Venkataraman
Trustee
Nandini voice for the Deprived
M 60/1, 4th Cross Street
Besant Nagar
Chennai 600 090

Our website had quite a few comments, which we are publishing below:

It’s time SBI remembered Dr. Anderson
(Vol. XXVI No. 19, January 16-31, 2017)

Anderson House used to be the residence of the General Manager (then known as the Deputy Secretary & Treasurer) of the Madras Local Head Office of the State Bank of India. During 1962-1965, my father R.K. Talwar (who went on to become the Chairman of SBI in 1968) held this position. And this house was where I lived for 3 yrs with my parents as an 8-10 year old boy. I have my fondest memories of this house.

– Pavan K. Talwar
windswd@aol.com

* * *

Manikkodi – A magazine which brought many young writers to the fore
(Vol. XXX No. 3, July 16-31, 2020)

The article on Manikodi magazine by K.R.A. Narasiah made for interesting reading. Tamil literature is indeed deeply entrenched in Kumbakonam, a town that nurtured literary giants such as Thi. Janakiraman, Na. Pichamoorthy, and Ka.Na. Subramaniam. Many were closely associated with Manikodi, which was based in this town, and which marked the advent of a new chapter in Tamil literature in the 1930s. It soon became a platform for a number of creative writers to express their literary sensibilities. With their rich socio-ethical values, these writers churned out great humanistic works that captivated Tamil readers.

– Ranganathan Sivakumar
siva19kumar@gmail.com

* * *

Chennai’s First Trade Centre
(Vol. XXIX No. 1, April 16-30, 2019)

I was then 11 years. I visited the exhibition (09-03-1968), and was thrilled to go round the venue. As the day was too hot, I couldn’t continue visiting different stalls. Ashok Leyland offered a free bus service to go round the exhibition area, in different open body builds, like chariot, ship, temple tower etc. After the visit we returned home to T. Nagar where my relative lived, at Melony Street opposite Dakshina Bharatha Hindi Sabha. I got a fever and went to bed as soon as I reached. The same night, I received the shocking news of my father’s demise. I returned home without visiting the exhibition again.

– Srinivas V Pandit
srinivasvpandit@gmail.com

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